Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Trick, then treat

When the Tories promised, in the last election, to scrap capital gains taxes as long as the profits were reinvested within six months, people in the personal finance community were excited.

The theory was that stifling taxes on capital gains were trapping money and hindering the economy, as people held on to assets they would otherwise have sold had it not been for the fear of taking the capital gains tax hit.

I recall it was a key cog in the Tory platform, but they quickly scuttled the proposal after they were elected once they realized how unwieldy (and dare I say, expensive) it would have been to implement.

But news is out today that the proposal is apparently back on the table. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is publicly toying with the idea of implementing some version of the proposal, possibly as early as in the 2007 Federal Budget.

I can't help but notice that this news comes as the possibility of another election is rearing its head, but still -- good news, I say. Although I must admit, so far my own portfolio is more a story of capital losses, as opposed to capital gains over the years, in the last 18 months or so, as I've gotten more serious about my investments and started to do my homework before jumping in, I'm pleased to say it looks like I have some winners on my hands.

Some day, I'm going to want to sell them. And it will be nice if I can keep as much of my gains from shrewd investing as I can -- since I'm mostly likely to plow every cent of profit I get into buying an economy-boosting home at some point.

If and when that happens, the government will get theirs. I'm still no fan of a lot of the Tories' other policies (the constant bickering over same-sex marriage and their laughable policy on protecting the environment leap to mind) but from a financial perspective I'm pretty impressed by their commitment to stimulate the economy by giving Canadians as much money in their pockets as is possible.

We'll see how this plays out.

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