Opposition Day Motion at Queens Park

Attached please find an excerpt from Hansard of a recent Progressive Conservative Opposition Day motion on the impact of the proposed HST on the housing market - Bob Runciman, the PC Leader.


Mr. Robert W. Runciman: On behalf of my colleagues in the Ontario Progressive Conservative caucus, I move the following opposition day motion:

Whereas on March 26, 2009, Dalton McGuinty once again broke his solemn promise to Ontarians and announced a massive McGuinty sales tax; and

Whereas the McGuinty sales tax increase will force homebuyers and sellers to pay more tax on services associated with real estate transactions, including but not limited to: legal fees, moving expenses, real estate commissions, development charges, home inspection fees and other closing costs; and

Whereas the McGuinty sales tax will cause home renovators and builders a massive McGuinty-driven cost increase through increased McGuinty sales tax charges; and

Whereas the McGuinty sales tax will cause vulnerable citizens, including seniors and renters, significant cost increases due to McGuinty sales tax charges; and

Whereas under Dalton McGuinty, Ontario homeowners have already been faced with a barrage of increased costs including skyrocketing property assessments and land transfer taxes; and

Whereas an economic recession is the worst time for Dalton McGuinty to increase taxes and erect further barriers to home ownership; and

Whereas the housing renovation, construction, sale and resale industries are a pillar of the economy in Ontario:

The Legislative Assembly of Ontario calls upon Premier McGuinty to acknowledge that, due to the current economic downturn, this is the wrong time to move forward with his ill-advised plan to yet again increase taxes on all people of this province.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Mr. Runciman has moved opposition day number 4. Mr. Runciman.

Mr. Robert W. Runciman: Young couples struggling to make better lives for their families work hard in this province to realize a dream: owning their own home. They are willing to sacrifice in other areas and lock in to huge mortgages to make this universal dream a reality.

With homeownership comes pride of ownership. When you own your very own home, you want to make it yours-decorate it your way and landscape the property around it your way-and in many cases you instantly become part of a community of other homeowners who want to do the same.


That brings me to the other side of the issue. I think we've established the far-reaching implications of Mr. McGuinty's latest tax grab on potential homebuyers, but the Premier's new sales tax has far-reaching implications on other industries that serve them. OREA, the Ontario Real Estate Association, represents 47,000 brokers and salespeople who are members of the 42 real estate boards throughout the province. They say that the Premier's new sales tax will add over $2,000 to the cost of a real estate transaction. Just so we're clear here, that's just for the taxes on the paperwork needed to seal a deal on a house purchased, whether it's a new home or a resale. According to an OREA press release dated March 26, real estate in Ontario last year accounted for $56.6 billion in sales, $6.01 billion in ancillary economic spending and $1.35 billion in land transfer tax revenue to the provincial government. As far as overall employment numbers, OREA states in its release that real estate directly and indirectly employs 110,000 people in the province. In the same press release, Pauline Aunger, who is the president of the real estate association, made the following comments:

"Now is not the time to be erecting barriers to homeownership. We need consumers to invest in housing to help get our economy going again."

"These additional taxes could price some homebuyers, especially first-time homebuyers, right out of the market. Harmonizing will not help homebuyers in any way."< /p>

"From municipal land transfer taxes to skyrocketing property taxes, homeowners are being pushed to the brink to accommodate increasing demands from government. A harmonized sales tax is yet another cash grab on Ontario's already overtaxed homeowners."

I digress for a moment to point out an important fact. It's clear that sources outside of the opposition parties agree that the Premier's new sales tax, under the guise of an economic plan to get us out of the recession, is just another way to generate revenue, pure and simple.