HST will increase the costs of homeownership, say local REALTORS
The Government of Ontario formally launched its latest assault on homeowners, purchasers and sellers with the introduction of Bill 218, the Ontario Tax Plan for More Jobs and Growth Act, 2009.
Local REALTORS say the Government of Ontario's plan to introduce a HST on July 1, 2010 will significantly increase the cost of homeownership by increasing taxes on buyers, seller and owners.
Homebuyers and sellers will pay 8 per cent more on legal fees, appraisals, real estate commissions, home inspection fees, and moving costs, adding about $1,500 in new taxes to the average residential real estate transaction in Ontario.
For existing homeowners, the HST will also add hundreds of dollars in additional tax on utility bills, such as gas, electricity and home heating fuel, on home renovation labour, the cost of lawn upkeep or landscaping and the cost of snow removal.
No matter how you sell it, the HST is a big tax increase for local home buyers, sellers and owners, said Joe Hough, President of the London and St. Thomas Association of REALTORS. We need government to reduce taxes and help families achieve their dreams of homeownership.
The HST combines the PST and GST into one value added tax, meaning that the 8 per cent PST will be applied to list of goods and services that were previously exempt.
The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) estimates that the new tax will add $1,449 in new taxes to an average resale home costing $302,354. OREA also estimates that the HST will add an estimated $262 million in new taxes annually to residential resale real estate transactions.
Homeowners will also have to pay an additional 8 per cent on many services required to maintain their homes. These services were previously exempt from PST and include utilities, home renovation labour, landscaping, snow removal and many others. OREA estimates HST on these services will add $480 in annual tax to the homeowner (based on a family that budgets $500 per month for such costs).
London and St. Thomas Association of REALTORS LSTAR
342 Commissioners Rd. W., London, Ontario N6J 1Y3
Phone: 519.641.1400 or 519.641.1434 x244