Wall of Wins
Effective for registrations made on or after Feb. 22, 2017, the threshold for the first-time home buyers program for the property transfer tax (PTT) will increase to $500,000 from $475,000. The partial exemption threshold has also increased to $525,000. This will now save first-time home buyers up to $8,000, which is an increase of $500.
CHBA BC recommended an increase to the first-time home buyers’ program in its 2017-18 pre-budget submission, to better reflect rising home prices. In 2014, the threshold for the exemption increased to $475,000 from $425,000.
It was reported in the budget that between Jan. 1, 2016 and Jan. 31, 2017, almost 22,000 first-time home buyers saved an average of $4,011 on the PTT with the first-time home buyers program. This is a total estimated savings of $87 million.
On February 27, Minister of Finance Bill Morneau announced new minimum import prices that are 32.17% lower than the normal values established in the initial anti-dumping investigation. This reduction is in line with the Canadian International Trade Tribunal's recommendation to reduce the duties to 43% of the export price (from as high as 201%). The Minister also announced that the government will use the $12 million in anti-dumping duties already collected to provide relief to builders and contractors who were unable to pass through elevated drywall costs, due to fixed-price building contracts committed to before the imposition of duties. The program will be administered by Western Economic Diversification Canada, and is expected to start in mid-2017.
Initial estimates suggest that the CHBA and industry intervention on this issue has led to $330 million savings on new construction in Western Canada, with $172 million in British Columbia alone.
Effective February 17, 2016, the purchase of a qualifying new housing unit valued at up to $750,000 is fully exempt from the provincial property transfer tax. This exemption is predicted to save the purchaser up to $13,000 and will provide an estimated $75 million in property transfer tax relief for new construction in 2016/17.
It was reported in the 2017 Throne Speech that 9,100 British Columbians have taken this opportunity, saving almost $72 million dollars.
Federal Government orders Trade Tribunal to analyze impacts of drywall tariff
In an unprecedented move, the Federal Cabinet issued an Order in Council, recommended by the Minister of Finance, that the Canadian International Trade Tribunal consider whether the imposition of drywall duties “is contrary to Canada’s economic, trade or commercial interests, and specifically whether such an imposition has or would have the effect of substantially reducing competition in those markets or causing significant harm to consumers of those goods or to businesses who use them.” The Tribunal was ordered in October to report back by January 4, the same day that the ruling was announced. Tariff injury inquiries usually are completed months after a tariff ruling takes place, so this move demonstrated that the government was hearing the concerns from industry, and groups like CHBA.
Drywall tariff duty lowered by Canadian International Trade Tribunal, and suspended for six months
CHBA attended a two week public interest inquiry trial for the drywall tariff in December 2016. The tariff ruling was announced on January 4, which indicated that the tariff is contrary to Canada's economic interests and is detrimental to consumers - all of which are aspects communicated by CHBA. The ruling indicated that the tariff should be lowered to one rate of 43%, from as high as 276%, and should be suspended for six months. This was a key ask of CHBA for members who are currently working with fixed price contracts and had to absorb huge price increases when the tariff was announced. Overall, the announcements demonstrate that the voices of the industry, and the negative impacts of an exorbitant tariff, were heard.
Download the full list of 2014-2015 Advocacy Activities HERE.
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In February 14, 2014, the provincial government released a balanced budget and CHBA BC welcomed the increase to the threshold for Property Transfer Tax (PTT) exemption for first-time buyers to $475,000...