No Deed Transfer Tax in Kentville

We hear Kentville Council has nixed the proposal to introduce a deed transfer tax. Perhaps the huge ad the Eastern Kings Chamber of Commerce [EKCC] ran in the Kings County Register July 2 convinced the Kentville Council or perhaps they are just more level headed. Or both. The arguments the EKCC put forward are the same as we have seen before: It’s a regressive tax, it’s an unfair tax, it’s a hidden tax, it’s a disencentive to development, and it has a negative effect on overall development.

For Kentville taxpayers this is good news. If Kentville needs more money to run the town they can get the revnue from the general property rate and justify the need,  instead of depending on an insecure source which targets one sector. For Wolfville taxpayers it isn’t good news because our Council in its wisdom whatever, has latched on to the this tax and won’t let go. And don’t let them tell you it doesn’t make a difference when it comes to sell your house. Already in markets which don’t have the tax ( or has a lower one) agents are using this as a plus. Just go to an open house in Coldbrook or Kentville now and listen to the spiel. ” And there is no DTT as there is in Wolfville – that saves you a few thou. right there.”

Our advice, not that it will be listened to if the past is any indication, is that Wolfville start phasing out this tax as soon as possible. It is already a small source of revenue given the SLOW market. But perhap that is what our leader wants. That’s the next flavour of the month – SLOW. More on that in our next post.

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6 responses to “No Deed Transfer Tax in Kentville

  1. The Deed Transfer Tax also reduces national productivity through the friction it applies to mobility of people. Economies, especially modern economies, are marked by high degrees of specialization and a requirement for mobility.

  2. So if we all stayed put, there would be no deed transfer tax 😉

  3. Colby Clarke

    Contrary to this posting, the Town Kentville has not yet “nixed” the deed transfer tax. Town Council will be meeting on July 15th at 7:00 p.m. to make their decision.

  4. Thank you very much for the correction. We trust you are in a position to know. Can you let us know what the decision is in case we don’t “hear” again correctly?

  5. George Townsend

    A deed transfer tax may be paid by the buyer but it is actually a tax on the transaction and must really be absorbed by both parties of the sale. Any other interpretation is an illusion. In a town or municipality involving a large number of transitional sales — such as Wolfville with Acadia University — this tax actually contributes to the raising of assessments. As general assessments rise, so do taxes because municipalities have a tendency to hold their mil rates and welcome the windfall of additional revenue created by higher assessments. This sounds like a great idea until properties become so expensive that new families can’t afford to buy. This has already happened in Wolfville. Realtors in the Kentville area are delighted to point this out because it gives them a competitive edge in a highly competitive market. Acadia University is now paying the price for having become one of the most expensive universities in Canada. Acadia University is now experiencing a financial crisis and the Town of Wolfville isn’t far behind. Unless we come to our senses, and soon, we may end up with houses as empty as our stores. Kentville beware: this could happen to you!

  6. I will be very interested to see the results of this decision considering the number of municipalities up here in Northern NS that are implementing or increasing the DTT despite all of the opposition. It seems that councils elsewhere do not seem to understand the fundamental principles of tax systems and would rather take the path of least resistance. Since fewer people are directly impacted, there will be fewer complaints than if they increased the property tax rate … completely ignoring all issues of fairness and negative impact on economic development. Make the right choice Kentville!