BCREA was pleased to see its top two public priority issues reflected in the report of the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services, published on November 14.
Following several weeks of consultations, including hearings in 17 communities around the province, the committee has made a total of 73 recommendations for government to consider for Budget 2014—though the Minister of Finance is under no obligation to act on those recommendations.
Property Transfer Tax
Throughout the consultation period, BCREA, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board, Victoria Real Estate Board and the Urban Development Institute recommended the provincial government:
- index the 1% PTT threshold of $525,000 using Statistics Canada's New Housing Price Index, and make adjustments annually, and
- increase the 1% PTT threshold from $200,000 to $525,000, with 2% applying to the remainder of the fair market value.
While the report acknowledges those suggestions, the committee only went so far as to recommend the government review the impact of the Property Transfer Tax on first-time homebuyers. BCREA looks forward to future opportunities to inform elected officials about the PTT and suggest ways to minimize its negative impact.
BCREA’s submission is available online at www.bcrea.bc.ca/government-relations/shelter-taxes.
In response to suggestions made by the Insurance Bureau of Canada, the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services recommends the provincial government continue investing in severe weather adaptation and protection measures, such as BC flood maps and municipal sewer and storm water infrastructure.
This recommendation aligns beautifully with BCREA’s Floodplain Maps Action Plan, created in consultation with stakeholders from all over BC. The Floodplain Maps Action Plan and quarterly progress reports are available at www.bcrea.bc.ca/government-relations/flood-protection.
The complete report of the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services is available online at www.leg.bc.ca/cmt/40thParl/session-1/fgs/reports/PDF/Rpt-FGS-40-1-1stRpt-Budget2014Consultations-2013-NOV-14.pdf.