Home renovation tax credits, will help kickstart the post-COVID-19 economy
Photo Eurodale Design + Build
In June, the Canadian and Ontario Home Builders’ Associations (CHBA and OHBA) and the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) submitted a plan to the Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee to help kickstart the Canadian economy post COVID-19. The groups recommended that the federal and provincial governments look at introducing home renovation tax credits to help stimulate the economy in the Greater Toronto Area.
A home energy retrofit tax credit will encourage homeowners to replace old windows, doors and insulation
The residential renovation industry is essential to the GTA’s economic foundations, job creation, housing quality and long-term prosperity. According to the CHBA, in 2018, the home renovation and repair industry employed 152,993 people in the GTA. The industry in the region pays $9.4 billion in wages and maintains and improves the largest single wealth-builder for many Canadian families, with an investment value of $16.9 billion.
A renovation tax credit is a proven stimulus activity that is nearly cost-neutral. A tax credit will deter cash deals and generate tax revenues by bringing the underground economy above board. RenoMark renovators will be ready to help once home renovation tax credits become available, as they provide receipts, pay tax, work with a contract and eschew cash deals ensuring a level playing field. It’s clearly a win-win situation.
A home energy retrofit tax credit will encourage homeowners to replace old windows, doors and insulation. Installing an energy efficient furnace, hot water heater, air conditioner or solar panels will not only reduce monthly utility bills, but will keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. And let’s not forget that energy retrofits will increase the value of your home while reducing your carbon footprint. Previous iterations of these types of programs have operated on a nearly revenue neutral basis.
An aging in place tax credit can help seniors make their home safe, more accessible and enjoy independent living in their own home
An aging in place tax credit can help seniors make their home safe, more accessible and enjoy independent living in their own home. Projects such as walk-in bathtubs, installing an elevator or chair lift, lowering existing counters, installing adjustable cupboards, replacing knobs with lever handles on doors, adding non-slip flooring and adding more light fixtures throughout the home should be eligible for a retrofit tax credit.
With all levels of government facing financial challenges and funding requests, the building industry is providing ideas that will unlock consumer and construction investments that will help stimulate the economy. We are making these recommendations to support economic development with more housing choice and employment opportunities that will support consumers and businesses during the recovery program.
Dave Wilkes is President and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD), the voice of the home building, land development and professional renovation industry in the GTA. For the latest industry news and new home data, follow BILD on Twitter, @bildgta, or visit bildgta.ca.