On Monday January 31st, OHBA President Bob Finnigan appeared before the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs to deliver OHBA’s recommendations for the upcoming 2011 Provincial Budget. During the Pre-Budget Consultations OHBA made three key recommendations:
* Both the province and federal governments should introduce a permanent direct renovation rebate or tax credit to consumers which would strongly encourage the use of legitimate contractors and create a paper trail to combat underground economic activity.
* The HST threshold for the new housing rebate requires a regular review as new home prices inevitably increase over the long-term. This would substantially improve housing affordability for the middle class and could provide an opportunity for the federal government to adopt a single progressive rebate for the GST matching both B.C. and Ontario.
* A long-term infrastructure plan that provides stability and predictability as the province shifts from stimulus funding to deficit reduction strategies. This shift must not come at the expense of infrastructure investments that benefit Ontario’s future.