L'ÎLE-DES-SOEURS, QC, Feb. 23, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - The Québec Federation of Real Estate Boards (QFREB) submitted to Québec's Minister of Finance four proposals regarding tax measures for housing, as part of the pre-budget consultations. These measures consist of introducing a tax credit for the purchase of a first home, maintaining and improving the LogiRénov tax credit, adjusting transfer taxes in order to reflect the significant increase in property prices and expanding the Home Buyers' Plan (HBP).
"Given the importance that real estate has on Québec's economy, the QFREB believes it is essential that the Québec government implements measures that will improve access to homeownership," says Patrick Juanéda, president of the QFREB Board of Directors. "They would also allow Quebecers to catch up in their homeownership rate, as they have historically lagged behind the rest of Canada (61% in Québec versus 72% in the rest of Canada)."
The measures proposed to improve homeownership among Quebecers are:
- Creation of a tax credit for the purchase of a first home, like the tax measure implemented by the federal government as part of Canada's Economic Action Plan of 2009. This tax credit would address the costs associated with the purchase of a home such as notary fees, sales taxes, mortgage insurance and transfer taxes.
- Maintenance and improvement to the LogiRénov tax credit by extending it for two years and by lowering the minimum eligibility amount to $2,000. Lowering the eligibility threshold would expand the types of work that could be performed in the areas already identified by the Finance Department. Furthermore, extending this measure would provide better fiscal control of contractors, particularly in terms of countering tax evasion and under-the-table work.
- Adjustment of transfer taxes in order to reflect the significant increase in property prices that have taken place since transfer taxes were introduced in 1992, given that the average property price has more than doubled during this period. The levels of transfer taxes should reflect this price growth in a similar proportion. In addition, exemption from the payment of transfer taxes, currently limited to vertical family relationships (parent, child), should be adjusted to include spouses, especially in cases of separation or divorce.
- Expansion of the Home Buyers' Plan (HBP). The QFREB wishes that the Québec Finance Department works with the federal Finance Department, as they plan on updating the HBP and making major changes. This program should allow taxpayers to use the HBP once again during a period of considerable change in their lives. In particular, the QFREB wants the HBP to be expanded to second homes and income properties.
The QFREB believes that these measures are necessary given the fact that Québec consumers have been faced with somewhat tighter mortgage rules by the federal government in recent years.
About the QFREB
The Québec Federation of Real Estate Boards is a non-profit organization composed of Québec's 12 real estate boards and the approximately 13,000 real estate brokers who are their members. The QFREB was created in 1994 following the adoption of the Real Estate Brokerage Act. Its mission is to promote and protect the interests of Québec's real estate industry so that the boards and their members can successfully meet their business objectives. To achieve this mission, the QFREB provides them with various services in the areas of professional practices, government relations and market analysis.
SOURCE Québec Federation of Real Estate Boards
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