The BC govt generates billions of dollars from the Property Transfer Tax and should launch a renovation tax credit addressing a wide range of housing issues.

  1. Reno tax credits can assist with seismic improvements to thousands of older homes in our region. Experts say there is a 10% – 15% chance of a massive earthquake in the next 50 years. During that same period there is a 30% chance of a significant, damaging earthquake.
  2. Renovations are the most effective for reducing greenhouse gas. They can reduce air changes in older homes from as high as 20 per hour to 3.5.
  3. Reno tax credits promote homeowner health and safety by encouraging the use of professional contractors for mitigating hazardous materials such as asbestos in insulation, stucco, drywall mud, roof shingles, floor tiles, electrical wires;
  4. Reno tax credits create tax revenue by encouraging homeowners to require receipts, helping to battle the underground economy;
  5. Construction offers young people the opportunity to learn a skilled trade, creating significant employment in every community across BC.

The benefits of Home Renovation Tax Credits are many – affordable energy efficiency in older homes, health and safety for homeowners, and local employment.

BC has generated more than enough funding from the housing market to launch a provincial tax credit program, as Quebec already accomplished.

Even Brandon, Manitoba managed to initiate a renovation tax credit via property taxes.

It’s time for the BC govt to step up, especially considering the certainty of a major seismic event in our region.

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This column appears Wednesdays in the Times Colonist.