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Paul Taylor
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Paul Taylor
2020-08-17 15:30
It's difficult to comment on that without having a really good understanding of what the proposed structure of that tax would look like. I think it would be disastrous to simply implement, as a switch, a 50% capital gains tax on the equity for everybody all at the same time. I envision that, if such a thing were ever actually to be contemplated to be implemented, it would have to be tiered over time. If that were the case, the impact would be really difficult to understand without seeing exactly how the tiering is actually going to occur through that period.
I can tell you today, though, that because home equity without the tax tends to be the largest driver of net wealth creation for individuals, it's also the thing that has permitted people to graduate through the housing continuum as you've described there. A young couple might start in a condominium with one bedroom, and as the family starts to grow, they'll move into a two- or three-bedroom home. It's quite specifically because they're not only able to retain the equity increase, if there is a potential increase in the property itself, but the forced savings of the mortgage itself actually help to create wealth so that they're able to make the next step into the larger property.
If they were to have to sacrifice some of the equity to a tax, it would make the process of moving through that continuum a slower process and it would potentially constrain people to smaller residences at the onset of the tax, but it's really difficult to comment on that without fully understanding what the structure of such a tax would actually look like when it would purportedly be implemented.
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