BC’s transition back to a Goods and Services Tax (GST)/Provincial Sales Tax (PST) system is expected to be complete by March 31, 2013. When that happens, real estate commissions and new home sales will once again be exempt from the 7% PST, modestly improving affordability.
BCREA received confirmation of these exemptions from Minister of Finance Kevin Falcon in early October. Every year, the all-party Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services of the Legislative Assembly of BC conducts a budget consultation around the province. In mid-October, BCREA made a presentation to the committee, urging the provincial government to ensure that transition rules are clear and straightforward.
The committee’s report quotes BCREA CEO Robert Laing in urging the government to reveal its transition plan quickly.
BCREA’s presentation also put forward recommendations to amend the structure of the Property Transfer Tax (PTT), which has remained the same since it was introduced in the late 1980s. BCREA believes that increasing the 1% PTT threshold to $525,000 (with 2% applying to the remainder of the selling price) and indexing that threshold annually would help restore tax fairness for BC homebuyers now and in the future.
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