West Vancouver mayor supports property speculation tax

Plus, extra costs in the pipeline and a UFO spotted in Ashcroft

Flipping property tax
Gregor Robertson’s proposal for a speculation tax on real estate may have fallen flat in Victoria, but the mayor of West Vancouver backs the idea. “There’s too much of an incentive right now for people buying houses and flipping them,” said mayor Michael Smith in an interview with the North Shore News. Smith, for his part, said he’d support a higher tax rate for second homes and taxing money made from house-flipping as business income—a pivot for a municipality loath to pile on new property taxes.

Cities count up costs of pipeline
It turns out that potential costs related to Kinder Morgan’s proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion are not just environmental. An engineering report (PDF) commissioned by Surrey, Coquitlam, Burnaby, Abbotsford and Langley Township estimates that building municipal infrastructure around the new pipeline would cost taxpayers more than $93 million over 50 years. It also suggests how costs to municipalities could be reduced by, for example, burying the pipeline deeper and consulting with municipal engineers. (via Langley Times)

UFOs are out there
Photos of a flying saucer that apparently crashed in an Ashcroft field have been posted on Facebook by Gareth Smart, a part-time acting coach in nearby Cache Creek, who says the X-Files crew is staying and filming at Ashcroft’s Wilderness Way Resort. The Vancouver Sun speculates that Ashcroft’s arid terrain may be standing in for Roswell, New Mexico, a supposed UFO crash site and part of the X-Files mythology. Filming is also taking place in Vancouver, site of the original X-Files. The new series is set to air on FOX in 2016.