Calgary AB (April 2016) – The Alberta Real Estate Association (AREA) and its 10,000 REALTOR® members across the province are pleased to see housing affordability maintained in the provincial budget announced today.
AREA applauds today’s budget presentation by Treasury Board President and Finance Minister Joe Ceci which keeps home ownership affordable for Albertans by avoiding the creation of a land transfer tax. Land transfer taxes are taxes paid to municipalities or the province when a property is sold, and cannot be added to a buyer’s mortgage, therefore requiring payment upfront when the transfer is registered.
By avoiding the creation of such taxes in Alberta, government has taken an important step towards ensuring every Albertan has the best opportunity possible to one day afford their own home.
“Today’s budget announcement demonstrated a positive commitment by the government to affordable home ownership in Alberta,” said Ian Burns, AREA’s CEO. “With this welcome news, it is AREA’s hope government retains this same commitment to housing affordability throughout its review of the Municipal Government Act, and the city charter process currently being undertaken with Calgary and Edmonton, and refrains from granting land transfer taxation powers to municipalities.”
In provinces and municipalities where land transfer tax has been implemented, results have shown the revenue from the tax did not achieve the anticipated economic benefits. Those revenues have instead been contrasted with a decrease in housing affordability, job loss from reduced real estate activity, and pressure on transportation and transit infrastructure.
AREA is also pleased to see that today’s budget includes a tax cut for small businesses. This move, which will see the tax reduced from 3% to 2%, will benefit many across Alberta including REALTORS®, providing welcome relief in what is a difficult economic time for many.
The Alberta Real Estate Association (AREA) represents more than 10,000 REALTORS® and 10 real estate boards province-wide. AREA’s vision is to deliver world-class leadership that positively shapes the Alberta real estate profession, enhances member professionalism, and reinforces the value REALTORS® deliver to both buyers and sellers.