The following atricle was posted by the BC Real Estate Association regarding the HST. At this point it seems to be an irreversible decision to implement the HST next July - so we may as well try to make the best of it and encourage the powers that be to make it as fair as possible.
"Tax Fairness for Homebuyers
BC homebuyers already carry a heavy tax burden, and the proposed Harmonized Sales Tax will push British Columbians to the brink. On October 16, BCREA suggested several steps the provincial government can take to restore fairness:
- The Association’s primary HST recommendation is that, in recognition of extreme differences in home prices across the province, the provincial government implement regional rebate thresholds for new housing, with the following considerations:
- Rebates for portions up to the thresholds calculated at 71.43 per cent of the provincial portion of HST paid,
- Rebates for portions above the thresholds calculated at 57.14 per cent of the provincial portion of HST paid,
- Initial thresholds determined in consultation with BCREA, and
- Thresholds indexed annually using the New Housing Price Index.
- The following measures, required as a result of the implementation of the HST, will benefit British Columbians and assist the government in obtaining positive support for its HST goals from BCREA and other real estate groups. BCREA recommends the provincial government:
a) Reinstate a rebate or tax credit for the HST on condominiums that leak due to building envelope failure.
b) Work with the federal government to provide input tax credits for landlords.
c) Extend the HST rebate or tax credit on all energy-efficient products that are currently exempt from provincial sales tax.
- To restore fairness for homebuyers who already bear a heavy tax burden, BCREA recommends the provincial government implement a three-year phase-out of the Property Transfer Tax (PTT) as follows:
- Starting on July 1, 2010, increase the 1% tax threshold to $500,000,
- Starting on July 1, 2011, no PTT on homes under $500,000, and
- Starting on July 1, 2012, remove the PTT.
Read the full submission on BCREA’s website: www.bcrea.bc.ca/govt/2010ProvPre-Budget.pdf.
REALTORS® and all British Columbians are encouraged to reinforce these messages with MLAs through BCREA’s HST Action website: www.bcrea.bc.ca/hst/hstaction.htm."