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Nova Scotia to remove provincial portion of HST from new apartment building construction projects

Premier Tim Houston says his government will reassess the measure after 2 years

The Nova Scotia government will match steps announced by Ottawa last week and remove the provincial portion of the HST from new multi-unit apartment building construction projects.

“I would say that Nova Scotians can expect that this is a first step on a journey to solve [the housing crisis],” Premier Tim Houston told reporters following a cabinet meeting in Halifax on Thursday.

“It’s an idea and we’re in the business of trying ideas to solve problems, so we’re trying this one.”

Ottawa made the announcement last week in the face of a growing housing crisis across the country caused at least in part by housing construction lagging behind population growth. It’s a move the federal Liberals first announced in 2015, but did not act upon.

Nova Scotia’s portion of the HST is 10 per cent. Houston estimated the change would cost between $80 million and $100 million a year.

“In many ways, I hope the cost goes up because that means there’s more housing starts and more construction happening,” said Houston.

His government will reassess the situation after two years, he said. …[Continue Reading]