Every so often, an idea comes along that is so out of touch and unfair that it unites pretty much everyone in their disapproval.
Recently, the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) appeared to be doing exactly that when media reports suggested the federal housing agency is researching a new home equity tax on primary residences.
According to reports, CMHC is spending $250,000 in partnership with the University of British Columbia’s School of Population to investigate ways to tax the equity Canadians have gained in their homes.
CMHC has denied that a capital-gains tax on primary residences is in the works. But where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
A home equity tax would be unfair and hurtful to Canadians during the best of times, but at this very moment — during a global pandemic — it is reckless. Across the country, people have lost their jobs or a significant portion of their income and are struggling to make ends meet. For them, their home equity could be a lifeline during these uncertain times and beyond.