Canadian Contractor

Dropping the HST (in B.C.) was followed by a rush of (renovation) activity shortly thereafter

B.C. residents, according to a poll by the CIBC, are saying they will pay more than 30 per cent more, per project, on renovations than their fellow Canadians. The sales tax drop created business. We reply: "DUH!"


May 2, 2014
By Steve Payne

Last week, we published that a report from CIBC/Nielsen that, according to a recent poll, predicts that B.C. residents will spend over 30 per cent more on home renovations this year, than in the rest of Canada.

We wondered if the lower sales taxes in B.C. were a “stimulant” (they turfed the HST and now it’s only the 7 per cent PST in that province that applies to renos).

Obviously, we can now apply for jobs as Rocket Scientists.

The CEO of the Greater Vancouver Homebuilders Association, Bob de Wit, told our writer David Godkin:

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“Definitely there was some hold off on the part of consumers (while they waited for the HST to be eliminated); de Wit said. “This was followed by a rush of activity shortly after.”

Return to the seven per cent PST created a wave of uncertainty in B.C.’s home renovation market during the 18 month transition period ending April 1, 2013. De Wit and others complained about the poor flow of information from government about how the PST would be reintroduced. Contractors like Rob Currie, co-owner of Basement Systems in Vancouver, also feared honest renovation contractors would lose business as homeowners turned to underground renovators instead of waiting for return of the PST.

“They pay taxes when they buy product from stores. But in the underground economy they’re not paying other taxes. It’s fundamentally unfair,” Currie said.


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1 Comment » for Dropping the HST (in B.C.) was followed by a rush of (renovation) activity shortly thereafter
  1. Larry Marchand says:

    Here’s an idea to stop the underground economy – require that all renovations be registered on property title, with the name of the owner and licensed builder (even better if the builder has to be qualified in order to be licensed!) Then, when the owner eventually wants to sell his home, he can proudly display the records of who did the renovation, and on the other side of the coin we can also protect buyers from unscrupulous and/or unqualified renovators.

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