OREA pre-budget submission focuses on incorporation and brownfields

OREA’s 2011 pre-budget submission focused on personal real estate corporations and encouraging brownfield redevelopment. Finance Minister, Dwight Duncan, is expected to announce the 2011 Ontario Budget in March.

Registered salespeople in Ontario are currently prevented from incorporating because the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002 does not permit a broker to pay commission to an “unregistered” entity. As a result, it effectively stops an individual salesperson from conducting business through a corporation and taking advantage of lower tax rates.

Personal real estate corporations have been successfully implemented in British Columbia and are going through the implementation process in Quebec. The ability to professionally incorporate has been extended to most regulated professions in Ontario including doctors, lawyers, accountants, social workers and engineers.

“Allowing real estate sales people to incorporate is ultimately about fairness,” said Ron Abraham, a Toronto REALTOR® and Chair of OREA’s Government Relations Committee. “Permitting real estate salespeople to incorporate would align their rights with most other regulated professions in Ontario.”

OREA’s second recommendation for the 2011 Ontario Budget focused on brownfield redevelopment. Specifically, OREA recommended that the provincial government amend Ontario regulations under the Assessment Act by adding a new tax class for brownfield properties that are “under remediation.” Brownfields that are classified as under remediation should pay tax rates at the same level as agricultural land.

Creating a new assessment class for brownfields that are “under remediation” would have a number of important benefits. First, it will encourage brownfield redevelopment by lowering the property tax burden on property owners who make the decision to remediate their property. The new assessment class and lower tax rate would also create jobs, revitalize communities, renew municipal infrastructure and remove hazardous materials/chemicals that pose health and safety risks to Ontarians.

“Brownfield redevelopment will encourage community revitalization and economic prosperity,” explained Abraham. “Lowering the property tax burden on brownfield property owners who make the important decision to remediate will create jobs, build better communities and clean up our environment.”

To learn more about OREA’s recommendations on personal real estate corporations and brownfield redevelopment visit the government relations section of our website.

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