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LETTER: Property flippers not entitled to tax break

B.C. Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon announced almost 870 new rental units will be coming to Vancouver Island. (Black Press Media file photo)

A full-time worker whose income is $250,000 per year would be earning $125 per hour. This was possible during the bubble in the late 1990s; some contractors bill in the hundreds of dollars per hour; but the vast majority of people who work a 40-hour week are not paid anywhere close to $250,000 a year.

House flippers, rental housing unit holders, and others active in the deliberate inflation of the price of housing do make $250,000 a year, many far in excess of that. One must ask why these individuals, and others who merely gamble in the derivatives casino, are privileged by tax codes not to have every dollar of their incomes taxed like people do who have to show up to work every day to be paid.

Is inflating the price of housing of such high social importance that individuals who engage in it deserve a break on their income tax?

Rental property holders cry the blues about their maintenance, property tax, and other expenses, but according to Statistics Canada, the operating profit margin that “Lessors of residential buildings and dwellings (except social housing projects)” enjoy has increased steadily from 41.3% in 2012 to 47.1% in 2021 over the timespan available for this particular data point.

The operating profit margin for “Food services and drinking places,” by comparison, averaged 4.4% (range = 3.8 to 6.2) during the same period.

Bill Appledorf