HST Referendum Results from BCREA
The following is a copy of a message sent by BCREA to all BC Boards regarding the HST referendum results.
With the defeat of the HST announced Friday, August 26, the provincial government has declared that the PST will be restored (at 7% with permanent exemptions in place) within 18 to 24 months (target date: March 31, 2013). The province has had a team in place for several weeks, and has already been in discussions with the federal government. Last Friday, Finance Minister Kevin Falcon stressed the need to quickly create transitional rules. To view the HST referendum results which are available on Elections BC’s website, click here.
This fall’s budget consultation process will form part of a public consultation on how to deal with the impact of transitioning back to a 12% PST/GST system (Minister Falcon said in his news conference that this change will have a $3 billion dollar impact on the BC budget). For the complete government news release, visit http://www.gov.bc.ca/fin.This
This past week, BCREA contacted the Minister of Finance urging the speedy creation of transition rules and asked for clarification on whether PST will apply to new homes and how commissions will be taxed. We know member boards and REALTORS® are getting lots of questions, and we’ll communicate further on what we know as soon as we get more information.
BCREA has prepared the following messaging about the HST referendum results, which will be refined as more details are revealed:
• The economic benefits of the HST would have been a few years away, so consumers likely won’t know what they missed.
• The transition is expected to be complete by March 31, 2013. This means some potential new home buyers may put off their purchases until that time. The government needs to reveal its transition plan as quickly as possible to alleviate market uncertainty.
• There will be significant costs to business and government in the transition back to a PST, however most consumers will only experience a modest cost savings when buying a home.
• The big question is how will the BC government coffers cope with returning the federal government’s transition monies and the loss in tax revenue post HST?
• The smaller question is how much investment will be diverted away from BC to HST Ontario?
British Columbia Real Estate Association
1420 – 701 Georgia Street West | PO Box 10123, Pacific Centre | Vancouver, BC V7Y 1C6
604.683.7702 | 604.683.8601 (fax)
Visit BCREA Online: http://www.bcrea.bc.ca/