In a recent Ipsos Reid opinion poll, 58 per cent of respondents agreed that the Property Transfer Tax (PTT) places an unfair tax burden on home buyers relative to other segments of the population.
Twenty nine per cent disagreed, and 13 per cent had no opinion on the issue. The poll also found that 51 per cent of respondents believe the provincial government should adjust the way the PTT is calculated to reflect price changes in the housing market over time. Of the 854 respondents, 26 per cent did not believe the PTT should be adjusted to reflect inflationary trends in the housing market and 23 per cent had no opinion.
Ipsos Reid conducted the poll on behalf of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV). It was conducted online with 854 adult British Columbians responding between April 19 and 24, 2013.
“While the PTT is not top of mind in most people’s daily lives, when the time comes to purchase a home this tax becomes a significant burden for home buyers in BC to shoulder,” says Sandra Wyant, REBGV president.
The province introduced the tax 26 years ago. It was structured to add 1 per cent on the first $200,000 of the purchase price, and 2 per cent on the balance. The government of the day touted the PTT as a wealth tax, as just 5 per cent of homes in Greater Vancouver in 1987 sold for $200,000 or more. Today, the reverse holds true, with 96 per cent of homes in Greater Vancouver selling for more than $200,000. However, the tax’s structure hasn’t changed in nearly three decades.