24 October 2023
Hon. Ernie Steeves
Minister of Finance, Government of New Brunswick
P. O. Box 6000
Via email: email@example.com
Re: Removal of Provincial Sales Tax on New Multi-Unit Resident Construction
Dear Minister Steeves:
As you are undoubtedly aware, last month, the federal government announced a new proposed rebate to be available to landlords of new residential rental buildings, as the federal government announces relief for the goods and services tax (GST) on the construction of purpose-built rental housing. This rebate, which is effective immediately, will apply to certain apartment buildings, student housing, and senior residences built for long-term rental accommodation. Specifically, the enhanced rebate will apply provided that construction begins on or after September 14, 2023 and before December 31, 2030, and is completed by December 31, 2035.
I am writing today to encourage the Government of New Brunswick to follow suit and remove the provincial portion of the HST on such new building construction. Of note, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland & Labrador, and Ontario have already announced their intention to remove their sales tax. This potential change by your government would not only energize the private sector but also prevent New Brunswick from falling behind other provinces that move on this opportunity more quickly.
According to the most recent calculations by the New Brunswick Apartment Owners Association, the province’s property tax rate for residential rental properties is currently 1.4 times that of other Atlantic provinces and 2.18 times the rest of the Canadian provinces. In addition, for residential rental construction, New Brunswick has the highest level of PST at 10%. It is our expectation that lowering this property tax burden would move the needle in NB on development.
New Brunswick is not the only province facing a housing crisis currently. That means we are in competition with other jurisdictions for investment in housing development – we must be competitive from a taxation perspective – there are plenty of places for developers to build – let’s make sure New Brunswick is a location of choice.
Krista Ross, CEO
Fredericton Chamber of Commerce
cc: Hon. Jill Green, Minister responsible for the New Brunswick Housing Corporation
cc: Willy Scholten, President, NB Apartment Owners Association