Today, the Ontario Real Estate Association presented to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs urging the government to improve the affordability of home ownership for Ontario first-time home buyers by modernizing the land transfer tax (LTT) rebate. The presentation was part of the committee’s pre-budget consultations.
“The dream of home ownership in our province for young Ontarians is becoming increasingly difficult,” said Ettore Cardarelli, OREA Government Relations Committee Chair. “While prices are largely responsible for these challenges, young first-time buyers are also being hurt by increasing closing costs like the provincial land transfer tax. To help keep home ownership affordable for younger generations, OREA recommends that the land transfer tax rebate for first-time home buyers be modernized to reflect present day home prices in Ontario.”
The LTT is charged as a percentage of the sale price of a home. Over time, the rebate’s effectiveness has eroded as home prices have increased. The maximum LTT rebate has not been updated in over two decades.
OREA’s presentation also made recommendations focused on helping reduce energy consumption in the residential housing sector. Specifically, the association also advocated for tax relief for Ontarians wishing to retrofit their homes for energy efficiency.
“OREA’s recommends the creation of a series of provincial rebates for home owners to assist them with the cost of doing the audit and the energy efficiency retrofits,” said Cardarelli. “This initiative would help Ontario achieve its greenhouse gas emission targets while injecting stimulus into the economy and supporting jobs in the construction and renovation sector.”
The Ontario Budget is the province’s financial roadmap for the year. The Budget sets the priorities for government spending, based on months of research, consultation and analysis. During the pre-consultation phase, the government seeks input from constituents and stakeholder groups. It is expected that the Minister of Finance will deliver his budget to the legislature in March 2016.