Study on Underused Housing Tax (UHT) at International Trade Committee reveals Liberal Government considering raising the UHT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OTTAWA- Conservative MPs Tony Baldinelli (MP for Niagara Falls and Shadow Minister for Tourism), Kyle Seeback (MP for Dufferin—Caledon and Shadow Minister for International Trade), and Colin Carrie (MP for Oshawa) are speaking out against statements made by Liberal MPs and government officials at the International Trade Committee, which could result in tax increases for Canadian snowbirds who own property in the United States due to the risk of retaliatory measures being proposed by American officials. While Conservative MPs are standing up for Canadian snowbirds, the Liberals have suggested on public record the possibility of raising the Underused Housing Tax (UHT). Such actions would greatly enhance the risk that Canadian snowbirds might be targeted by retaliatory tax measures in the US, and any Canadians who own property in the US should be alarmed with this news.
“My constituents and the Mayor of Fort Erie have been clear: the implementation of this poorly thought-out Liberal tax has been a disaster, as it unfairly targets American summer residents and cottagers in our communities who have owned their Canadian properties for decades. These American residents are part of our social fabric, contributing to our local economies and by way of their property taxes paid to communities in South Niagara and beyond.
At a time when Canada and the U.S. should be working closely together, why would this Liberal government in Ottawa move forward with a divisive and unfair Underused Housing Tax without providing the common-sense regulatory exemptions required for properties owned in rural, cottage, and border communities?”
- Tony Baldinelli, MP for Niagara Falls and Shadow Minister for Tourism
“We have heard from Canadians, cottagers, and US Congressional Representatives that the UHT is a poorly designed and implemented tax. Despite these concerns, Liberals at committee mused about raising the tax even higher during our study, which was frustrating since they were with us in Washington DC when concerns were expressed by congressional officials we met with. The tax is bad enough as it stands but raising the UHT even further strongly increases the chance of retaliatory measures being taken against Snowbirds by the US. It is especially irresponsible to suggest raising the UHT with the review of CUSMA coming in 2026, since we have created yet another trade irritant with the US, our best trading partner. We are trying to prevent another crisis created by the Trudeau Liberals, since they seem oblivious to the impact of their actions. I call on the Government to immediately clarify whether they are planning to increase this tax or not.”
- Kyle Seeback, MP for Dufferin—Caledon, and Shadow Minister for International Trade
“We repeatedly heard that the UHT has been a disaster from every stakeholder who gave testimony. Based on what we heard, we need to see a review of this poorly implemented tax as soon as possible. Even worse was that with the risk of US retaliatory measures up for discussion in Washington DC, the Liberals then raised the potential of increasing this tax. One thing is clear for our Snowbirds: enjoy the summer, because it may not be such a nice winter with the lack of a proactive approach from this tired Liberal Government.”
- Colin Carrie, MP for Oshawa
The Conservatives are calling on the Liberal government to review the implementation and administration process of the Underused Housing Tax; to refute Liberal MP’s calls to raise the UHT; and to lay out a comprehensive strategy to avoid potential retaliatory measures taken by the US against Canadian snowbirds who are already planning their winters away in 2023-24. In addition, Conservative MPs plan on submitting an official request to the Parliamentary Budget Officer to review the UHT and its cost benefit analysis due to the lack of responsiveness from Finance Canada and Canada Revenue Agency officials who appeared at Committee.