Provincial Budget 2019 Highlights
- Housing Supply Action Plan. A clear and strong commitment to increase Ontario's supply of housing by reinforcing the important role that the upcoming Housing Supply Action Plan (HSAP) will have in bringing forward solutions to make it faster and easier to build housing and make housing more affordable.
- The HSAP will be flexible so that communities across Ontario can build what it needs while ensuring the protection of sensitive areas like the Greenbelt, preserving cultural heritage, and maintaining Ontario's agriculture sector.
- To address housing affordability, the budget commits that the government will deliver on the HSAP and introduce legislation by spring 2019.
- Transit Oriented Development. The Budget commits the province to move forward with its Transit Oriented Development Strategy which includes innovative ideas like building stations to help pay for expanded transit and to create housing choices for Ontario families.
- Tarion Reform. The budget reinforced the government's commitment to protecting home buyers by taking action to transform the Warranty Corporation by proposing to establish a regulator separate from Tarion to address conflicts of interest involving new home builders and vendors.
- Property Tax Reform. The budget announced that the province will be developing an action plan to improve the property tax system in Ontario that will focus on enhancing the accuracy of property assessments, support a competitive business environment, provide relief to residents, and increase taxpayer representation at the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation.
- The Deficit. The government confirmed that it has already cut the provincial deficit by $3.3B, down from $15B to a projected $11.7B. The government is further planning another $1.4B in deficit reduction for the 2019–20 fiscal year.
- CARE. The budget introduced several new measures, including the Ontario Childcare Access and Relief from Expenses (CARE) tax credit, a commitment to provide $1B over the next five years to create up to 30,000 child care spaces in schools, investing an additional $384M in hospitals, and an additional $267M in home and community care to help address hallway healthcare.
- Ontario Job Creation Investment Incentive. The province has announced that it will provide $3.8B in income tax relief over six years for the Ontario Job Creation Investment Incentive to help Ontario remain competitive with existing rates and competing US jurisdictions.
- Estate Tax Cut. The budget includes the announcement of the elimination of the Estate Administration Tax on the first $50,000 of the value of the estate; however, it will continue to apply to the value of the estate exceeding $50,000 at the current rate. This should amount to a savings of $250 per transaction.
TREB is pleased to see the government reinforce its commitment to increasing the supply of housing through the work being done to support the Housing Supply Action Plan. We are encouraged to see a commitment to move forward with the plan, including the introduction of legislation in the spring of 2019.