Open letter to Kevin Falcon

Regional director questions HST rebate on new homes

Honourable Kevin Falcon

Minister of Finance

Victoria, B.C.

Dear Sir :

I was surprised and disappointed to read:

Rebate Boosted for Newly Built Homes

Effective April 1, 2012, the current HST rebate threshold for home purchases increases to $850,000. More than 90 per cent of newly built homes are below that price. Purchasers will now be eligible for a provincial HST rebate of up to $42,500. And, for the first time, purchasers of new secondary vacation or recreational properties built outside the GVRD and Capital Regional District priced up to $850,000 will be eligible to claim a provincial grant of up to $42,500, effective April 1, 2012.

I am the Regional Director for the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area representing the small town of Port Renfrew. Our community is within the boundary of the CRD and would seem to be excluded from this terrific rebate putting us in a competitive disadvantage to the rest of British Columbia.

Port Renfrew has been struggling to overcome the loss of resource related industries and is just now enjoying some benefits from the sale of recreational properties. A development company has recently sold 40 small recreational cottages and lots. These parcels have added to our existing tax base of 120 lots and have provided a huge stimulus to our local economy.

The economic future of Port Renfrew is dependent on the sale of secondary vacation and recreational properties. Quite simply the budget announcement will cripple that future.

Please consider including Port Renfrew, the Juan Fuca Electoral Area and my CRD neighbours of Salt Spring Island and the Gulf Islands in the HST rebate program. We are equally concerned for our communities and hope this was a simple over-sight .

Thank you and we look forward to your decision.

Sincerely yours,

Mike Hicks

Regional Director Juan de Fuca