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Land transfer tax won't help real estate transactions in Alberta

A well-known economist believes that imposing a land transfer tax isn't the way to generate revenue. The Alberta financial expert says Alberta would be better off instating a provincial sales tax or increasing property taxes. A land transfer tax, he says, might hurt the already shaky economy even further by curtailing real estate transactions in the province. 

Alberta's $7.5-billion deficit would be better downgraded through other means of raising revenue rather than imposing a 1 per cent land transfer tax on Albertans, the expert believes. A land transfer tax could raise more than $1 billion a year for provincial coffers. The economist suggests that such a tax may prohibit people from engaging in real estate transactions and its volatility makes it an unreliable source of revenue.

The report, out of the University of Calgary, in which the economist is quoted, examined research regarding land transfer taxes and their effect on the economy. The issue was brought up in Alberta since the report found that land transfer taxes generated $2 billion in British Columbia and $2.7 billion in Ontario in 2017. The economist was the co-author of the study that culminated in the report.

Real estate transactions in Alberta are affected by a number of conditions. Many consumers are unaware of what those conditions are. A lawyer experienced in real estate law may be able to enlighten a client on a number of issues pertaining to the real estate industry as well as ensuring any contract a client is thinking of signing meets the letter of the law. A lawyer will always have the best interests of his or her client in mind when it comes to potential contractual obligations.

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