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Reno Tax Credit Boosts Economy

This column appears in Wednesday’s Time Colonist.

The Quebec government has announced a new tax credit to encourage home renovations, which will boost their economy.

The tax credit applies to renovating a kitchen or bathroom, basement, floor coverings, plumbing, siding, roofing, drainage, and energy efficiency improvements.

Homeowners can claim up to 20% on renovations worth between $3,000 and $10,000. The work must be completed by a qualified contractor by December 31, 2015.

The tax credit is expected to create up to $3 billion in renovations and that means jobs in every Quebec community.

For some time, we have advocated a renovation tax credit in BC which experienced zero employment growth in 2013.

Young people need jobs, and renovations create employment from skilled trades to downstream retail.

Tax credits also discourage illegal renovations by requiring receipts, generating more tax revenue for government.

There’s another good reason to support a tax credit.

WorkSafe BC implemented stringent and expensive regulations for the removal of asbestos in homes.

Asbestos can be found in stucco, drywall mud, roof shingles, window putty, vinyl and linoleum floor tiles, wires, cement, and more.

In the 1970’s and 80’s, the Canadian Home Insulation Program (CHIP) offered grants to install asbestos insulation in homes.

A tax credit offers an incentive for homeowners to deal with asbestos abatement using professionals.

To sum up, a renovation tax credit will:

  • Create jobs in every BC community
  • Promote health and safety for workers and consumers
  • Help combat the underground economy

What are we waiting for in British Columbia?

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