Reaction to scrapping of Nova Scotia’s non-resident property tax plan

There was relief Friday for some across Nova Scotia after Premier Tim Houston scrapped a plan to address the housing crisis by taxing nonresident homeowners.

“I don’t think it would have made any appreciable difference,” says real estate agent Piers Baker. “Because most of the crisis is happening here in Halifax, and it’s all summer homes in rural areas.”

After hearing from people living in these areas, as well as owners of summer homes and cottages, the Prime Minister changed his mind but did not offer a relief plan to ease the housing crisis.

“I am committed to finding a tool to make home affordability, especially for first-time home buyers, a reality in this province,” Houston said.

Housing Minister John Lohr has also pledged to get people into affordable housing.

“We will work closely with municipalities, the federal government, community organizations and the private sector to do what needs to be done. »

The head of the Nova Scotia Association of Realtors said the tax plan not only wouldn’t help the housing problem, it would have hurt local economies.

“Seasonal owners inject money into the economy in the form of shopping, tourism and home maintenance,” explains Matthew Dauphinee, president-elect of the association.

Premier Houston acknowledged that the province’s reputation was suffering with the 2% tax. He says he wanted to make sure Nova Scotia was seen as a welcoming place to live, work and visit.

Penny D. Jackson