IN THE NEWS: MONTREAL WELCOME TAX REFUND

Montreal ditching 'Welcome Tax' for families buying 1st home

After June 1, a family purchasing an existing construction as their 1st home can get back at least $5,000

Sarah Leavitt - CBC News

April 11, 2018

A total of $21.2 million will be earmarked annually for the program, which will be in place as of June 1.

Montreal is trying to curb the exodus of young families by tempting them to buy in the city in exchange for a $5,000 tax break. 

The initiative, which reimburses the so-called "Welcome Tax," was announced today. It was one of Projet Montréal's main campaign promises.

The move is part of an updated housing program launched to encourage young families to buy property and stay in the city.

"Montreal is in a real economic boom, which is great news," said Mayor Valérie Plante.

"But the value of residences is also seeing an important increase. We are very aware that this situation can make buying a residence difficult. To avoid an exodus of families, we have to put in place means to support those who want to remain in Montreal and become homeowners."

A total of $21.2 million will be earmarked annually for the Programme d'aide a l'acquisition residentielle, which will be in place as of June 1.

The program will provide financial aid for housing, in particular for families with children under 12.

According to the Institut de la statistique du Québec, between 2011 and 2016 more than 24,000 children under the age of 15 moved out of the city.

The "Welcome Tax" will be reimbursed for those families buying an existing construction. They will get back a minimum of $5,000 up to a maximum of $7,000, depending on the value of the property.

In order to qualify, the price of the home — whether it be a co-property, family home or plex — can't exceed $630,000.

Under the previous program, the number of Montrealers who could receive financial aid was more limited. It was based on the price, type of residence and the makeup of the household. 

The new program raises the threshold for the cost of the residence, includes co-property residences and increases other forms of financial aid.

Families who buy newly constructed homes can receive aid up to $15,000.

In order to qualify for that financial aid though, the cost of the property can't be more than:

  • $225,000 for households with no children (with one buyer).
  • $280,000 for households with no children (with more than one buyer).
  • $400,000 for households with children (outside of the downtown core).
  • $450,000 for households with children (in downtown core).

The City forecasts that the new funding will benefit more than 3,500 households, compared to 700 that qualified for reimbursements in 2017.

Angela Langtry

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