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Adjust GST & PTT to Promote Affordability

The GST and Property Transfer Tax have eroded housing affordability in our region.

In 2000, the GST for an average new home in Victoria was about $10,000. The PTT was $3,000.

Due to inflation, the GST is now about $30,000 and PTT is $10,000 – triple increases.

Most incomes haven’t tripled, so it’s no wonder younger generations are challenged by the cost of housing.

About 20% of a new home’s cost is taxes, fees and amenity charges.

It’s time all governments adjusted these taxes and charges to promote affordability.

Ottawa should keep its promise in 1991 to index the GST rebate to inflation. Less than 10% of homebuyers in our region now qualify for the full rebate.

BC should adjust the PTT threshold and remove multiple charges during development phases of new homes, ultimately paid by homebuyers.

Municipalities must support efficient development processes and avoid using new homebuyers’ mortgages to pay for public benefits, more appropriately paid by property taxes.

These changes will improve affordability, create skilled employment and grow the tax base.

It all starts with fair taxation – essential for a healthy economy and housing affordability.

Visit us at vrba.ca and careawards.ca. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Our column appears Wednesdays in the Times Colonist.

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