Provinces across Canada are showing there is much BC can do to boost our economic recovery and create jobs.

For example, the Newfoundland/Labrador govt launched a rebate program providing up to $10,000 for renovations and new home construction.

The Saskatchewan govt created a PST rebate for new home construction to boost jobs and mitigate the impact of the mortgage stress test, especially for young families.

A similar PST rebate or tax cut in BC would save thousands of dollars on new housing and also mitigate the challenges of the stress test.

It is estimated PST represents a 2% overall cost on home construction because it is charged on materials, not labour. A rebate or tax cut represents a saving of $10,000 on a construction cost of $500,000.

A rebate or tax cut also impacts renovations assisting important objectives ranging from asbestos abatement to seismic safety.

In our region, there is a 30% chance of a damaging earthquake and 10% – 15% chance of a massive earthquake in the next 50 years. Many homes need to be secured with anchor bolts and other protective measures.

As COVID-19 continues to impact our economy, reducing taxes will assist our recovery, housing affordability, as well as health and safety.

This should be considered by any party forming the next govt after the BC election.

This column appears Wednesdays in the Times Colonist.

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