Tax revenues on transfer of acts more than doubled during the pandemic

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In Pictou County, Deed Transfer Tax revenue – a 1% tax added to the sale of properties – was more than double what was forecast for the fiscal year that ended on the 31st. March 2021.

According to information provided to The News, the deed transfer tax for the fiscal year April 2020 to March 2021 brought in $ 1,793,492.

These revenues were generated from the sale of properties in the Municipality of the County of Pictou and the towns of Trenton, New Glasgow, Pictou and Stellarton. Municipalities had forecast revenues of only $ 840,938.

This trend appears to have continued during the current fiscal year.

For the 2021/2022 fiscal year, which began in April 2021, the municipalities collected $ 944,879 in transfer duties.

There are five months remaining in the exercise.

“I expect our final number for this fiscal year to be similar to last year,” said Pictou County Municipality Chief Executive Officer Brian Cullen.

The Deed Transfer Tax was first implemented in Pictou County to generate income to pay for the capital costs associated with the construction of the Pictou County Wellness Center, as well as the modernization of Aberdeen Hospital.

When it was created in September 2009, the Debt of the Wellness Center was $ 9 million and that of the emergency department was $ 4.8 million. The term of the loan was 30 years.

Pictou Mayor Jim Ryan, who chairs the Pictou County Wellness Center board of directors, said the increase in revenue is due to the high volume of property sales that took place in the county during the COVID pandemic -19.

“Obviously, with home sales as they’ve been for the past two years, the transfer tax is in a pretty comfortable position,” he said.

To date, he said there has been no discussion of what to do with the increased income, which is currently balancing.

If the money were applied to the current principal balance, it would reduce the term by about five years, Cullen said.

Ryan said there is a specific time when additional payments can be made, but any decision should be discussed and approved by municipalities.

Whether the real estate boom will continue in the future remains to be seen.

“It’s one of those things where you don’t really know where these things are going to go,” Ryan said.

According to statistics from the Canadian Real Estate Association, home sales in 2021 in northern Nova Scotia are up 85.8 from 2020. The average residential price this year was 199,379 $, an increase of 41.7% over last year.

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