Category Archives: politics

Good citizens keep their homes empty

Vancouvers empty home tax is bringing in some decent coin – almost $40 million in 2018.

If you believe in a vibrant vancouver and want to do your part to support it, you can own a home here and keep it empty – that extra tax income goes to support affordable housing and rent protections.

If you really want to go the extra mile, don’t report your empty home: Audits raises $22.1 million in taxes and fines from empty home owners.

Read more here.

Everybody wants to help you buy a house

Pointed out by southseacompany: all the major political parties want to help you buy a house and the promises are piling up.

They all love the idea of taking taxpayer money to drive up house prices, the current government even wants to get in on the speculation and help out with a 5-10% shared equity program.

The government also confirmed that, because the program gives it an equity stake in the mortgage, it will share any gains or losses in the value of the home over the life of the loan. Any money the government makes on the program will go back into general revenues.

Read the full article here.

A plan to not help affordability

southseacompany points out this article about Finance minister Bill Morneaus plan to ‘help‘ homebuyers.

“One of the things Finance Minister Bill Morneau did in the budget on Tuesday was to take steps to fix Canada’s home ownership problem. But who told him Canada has a homeownership problem?” 

“Homeownership rates in Canada are among the highest in the developed world. Even among young people, homeownership rates are high compared to our peers with more than 40 per cent of households led by people under 35 owning homes. And yes, even in Toronto and Vancouver, homeownership rates are high relative to those cities’ global peers.”

Read the full article here.

Liberals could help millennials buy homes

Real estate sales are good for the economy, but what happens when prices get too high for young family incomes and borrowing costs increase?

Perhaps it’s time for the Government to step in?

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said earlier this week Ottawa is exploring measures to make home ownership affordable for more millennials, a generation made up of people who are now in their mid-20s to late-30s.

Morneau didn’t elaborate on what options he’s considering, but Canadians could learn more in the coming weeks when he releases an election-year budget that will also lay out Liberal platform commitments.

Major political parties have already started positioning themselves on the complex area of housing affordability. It will likely emerge as an important campaign issue ahead of October’s federal election, and the challenges of millennials and first-time buyers could attract a lot of attention.

Some lenders have ideas for some helpful changes:

“There’s a lot of folks that just don’t qualify to purchase anymore at the bottom end of that ladder,” said Paul Taylor, president and CEO of Mortgage Professionals Canada.

Taylor said the stress tests have succeeded in taking some of the froth out of the market and he believes the time has come for Ottawa to loosen them. In recent meetings with federal officials, he said he has recommended the reintroduction of insurance on 30-year amortization mortgages as a targeted way to help people at the lower end.

The coming weeks would be a good time for some changes with the busy spring season is approaching, he said.

“If we have another cool spring market, that’s going to have serious knock-on effects to the economy,” said Taylor, who was encouraged by Morneau’s comments.

Read the full article here.

CRA Freezing and Seizing Tax Cheat Assets

The CRA is now using ‘proceeds of crime’ provisions to freeze assets and seize property of tax cheats.

Tassé said the proceeds-of-crime provisions can also be used to seize property outside of Canada. For example, if the CRA believes that someone has engaged in offshore tax evasion and used the proceeds to buy a vacation home or a yacht, the CRA could freeze or seize those assets.

Using the proceeds-of-crime provisions also can block tactics used by some tax evaders, such as declaring corporate bankruptcy to avoid paying the taxes, said Tassé.

Read the full article here.