Here’s a letter I wrote to our MPP in Halton, Ted Chudleigh…
Mr. Ted Chudleigh
MPP – Halton
Rm 420 Main Legislative Building
Dear Mr. Chudleigh
As a REALTOR in your riding, I’m writing today to express my concern about the possible implementation of a harmonized sales tax in the province of Ontario.
As you know, the Premier has openly mused about the possibility of harmonizing the goods and services tax with the provincial sales tax and has done nothing to discourage speculation that harmonization may occur at some point in the future.
If that happens, it will have a devastating effect on the housing market, both new and resale.
I’m sure you’ve seen recent studies done by the Building Industry and Land Development Association indicating that harmonization would add tens of thousands of dollars to the cost of new housing in Ontario.
But harmonization would also have a dramatic negative effect on the resale housing market as well.
For example, harmonization would result in provincial sales tax being applied to legal fees, appraisal fees, real estate commissions, moving expenses, home staging services, landscaping and more services usually associated with real estate transactions. In addition, harmonization would result in the goods and services tax being applied to items such as mortgage insurance premiums and title insurance fees.
As you know, the real estate market has been hit hard by the current recession with unit sales dropping anywhere from 5-40% in many parts of the province. Now is surely not the time to impose new taxes on the real estate sector when we need economic stimulus to grow the Ontario economy.
Please tell Premier McGuinty and Finance Minister Duncan that harmonization is bad for the housing market, bad for the Ontario economy and bad for consumers wishing to buy and sell homes in Ontario.