Alberta’s new provincial budget was rife with tax increases, including those relating to real estate, but agents on the ground say those fee increases aren’t likely to really
impact the market.
“Alberta right now is an interesting time,” says Duane Ritter, a sales rep in Edmonton. “I don’t really believe the budget will have any effect on real estate... It’s just going to take more money out of our pockets.”
The budget, announced Thursday afternoon, called for increases to many of the province’s taxes. Most notably, Alberta has done away with a flat 10 per cent tax, instead adding two brackets for those earning more than $100,000 in taxable income.
Traffic fines will rise an average 35 per cent, while taxes on alcohol are increasing 16 cents for a bottle of wine and 90 cents for a 12-pack of beer. Taxes on cigarettes are set to jump $5, to $45 per carton.
Fuel taxes will increase to a total 13 cents per litre, which is still the lowest in the country.
The greatest potential impact to real estate, however, is an increase to the land title and mortgage registration fees. As the Calgary Herald reports, those are expected to spike to $1,230 on a $500,000 property. That’s a four-fold increase from the previous fees of $290.
“I don’t think there’s anything major that came into the budget that’s going to deter real estate sales,” says George Bamber, a broker/owner in Calgary. “It’s another expense that people don’t really want to incur, but it’s going to be the cost of doing business.”