The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) is encouraged to see the provincial government taking action through the provincial budget announced on November 5, 2020, to help ensure continued economic recovery. The global pandemic has taken a serious toll on economies around the world, and it is important for all governments to do what they can to ensure that the economy recovers as quickly as possible. TRREB believe that the measures announced by the provincial government will make an important difference in achieving that goal. TRREB is particularly encouraged to see that the government included some property tax relief measures for businesses.
Since the start of the pandemic and economic downturn, TRREB has been working hard to assist governments at all levels to achieve public health and economic recovery objectives. TRREB has provided detailed input on the state of the Toronto region’s real estate market and advice on policy and fiscal actions that could assist with economic recovery. TRREB looks forward to continuing to work with all levels of government to help move the Greater Toronto Area, the province, and the country through the current public health and economic challenges.
Real Estate Related Budget Initiatives
Seniors’ Home Safety Tax Credit
- The provincial government announced a new Senior’s Home Safety Tax Credit, which would provide a 25 per cent credit on eligible renovations of up to $10,000. Seniors would be eligible for the credit regardless of their income or whether they owe income tax for 2021. The tax credit would also be available for family members who have a senior living with them.
- The maximum credit would be $2,500. Eligible expenses would include grab bars and related reinforcements around the toilet, tub and shower; wheelchair ramps; stair lifts; and elevators. They would also include renovations to permit first floor occupancy or a secondary suite for a senior.
- The Budget includes reducing property taxes by lowering the high Business Education Tax (BET) rates for over 200,000 employers (94 per cent of all business properties in Ontario) to a rate of 0.88 per cent.
- The government is proposing to provide municipalities with the ability to cut property tax for small businesses and a provincial commitment to consider matching these reductions.
- The government is proposing the creation of optional new assessment tools to address concerns regarding assessments on permitted land use versus speculative land use.