(Source: The National Post)
The recently announced harmonization of the GST and PST in Ontario is about to wreak havoc on the housing industry, one of the pillars of that province’s economy. It is a textbook case of poor government policy that will distort the province’s housing market over the long term, with a particularly devastating impact on the building industry.
Consider the following: When tax harmonization in Ontario takes effect in July, 2010, someone buying a new condo in Toronto costing $500,000 — the current median price in that city — will pay approximately $40,000 in additional taxes. If the same buyer considers moving up to a $600,000 purchase, the tax goes up another $17,000, for a total additional tax burden of close to $60,000. Total sales taxes on a new home purchase will exceed the 13% tax on an imported luxury car and the 15% sin tax levied on a glass of wine or pint of beer purchased at the local watering hole. But will new home purchasers be willing to pay these sky-high sales tax increases and, if not, what are the consequences?
Read James McKellar’s article “Home is where the tax is” in the National Post (April 16, 2009)