Toronto Real Estate Board Says Land Transfer Tax Should Be Scrapped, Not Capped



TORONTO, July 3, 2013 -- With detailed options on an initial cut to the Toronto Land Transfer Tax before the City of Toronto Executive Committee, the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) is calling on the Committee to take decisive action to get a phase-out of this tax in motion. TREB is presenting its views in a deputation to the Executive Committee today.


“A Land Transfer Tax reduction should be part of the City’s next budget process, so the City’s Budget Committee should have an opportunity to review this issue. Torontonians have waited long enough for this and they want decisive action, so the Executive Committee should indicate to the Budget Committee its clear support, in principle, for an initial 10 percent reduction, and then let the Budget Committee work on the details of making that happen,” said Dianne Usher, TREB President.


The Toronto Land Transfer Tax costs the purchaser of an average detached Toronto home about $12,000, upfront.


A recent poll, conducted by Ipsos Reid, found that:Two-thirds (65%) of Torontonians support plans to eliminate the Toronto Land Transfer Tax;Support for eliminating the land transfer tax with a gradual phase-out approach, as suggested by Mayor Ford, is strong (65%);

90% of recent home buyers feel that they received little or no added value in municipal services for the Land Transfer Tax that they paid to the City;

74% of home buyers in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area say they are more likely to purchase a home outside of Toronto specifically because of the Toronto Land Transfer Tax;

65% of home buyers who currently live in Toronto say they are more likely to leave Toronto, when they purchase their next home, specifically because of the Toronto Land Transfer Tax;

Approximately 40% of first-time buyers had to pay some LTT to the City because the City’s first-time buyer rebate maxes out on a $400,000 home, but the current average Toronto home price is $600,000, meaning that first-time home buyers of an average home would pay a balance of almost $3,000 in LTT.

“The Land Transfer Tax has hurt Toronto for long enough. It unfairly forces only five percent of Torontonians each year (those purchasing a home), to subsidize the other 95 percent. We have been speaking out against this tax for some time and we will keep doing so until City Council takes action. We’re proud of our efforts to stand up for the public and inform them on this issue, and we will keep doing so. The public expects action on this unfair tax before the next municipal election,” said Von Palmer, Chief Government and Public Affairs Officer for TREB.


A study published last fall, by the C.D. Howe Institute, found that the Toronto Land Transfer Tax is directly responsible for dampening home sales in Toronto by 16 percent. This equates to over 5,000 lost housing sales, including condominiums.


A separate study, conducted by the Altus Group, determined that every resale housing transaction results in over $40,000 in spinoff spending on things like movers, renovations, furniture, and appliances.“It is encouraging that the City’s Executive Committee is discussing options on phasing-out the Land Transfer Tax. REALTORS® look forward to continuing to work with City Council on making this happen for the benefit of our City,” said Palmer.


Greater Toronto REALTORS® are passionate about their work. They are governed by a strict Code of Ethics and share a state-of-the-art Multiple Listing Service. Over 37,000 TREB Members serve consumers in the Greater Toronto Area. The Toronto Real Estate Board is Canada’s largest real estate board.


Media Inquiries: Mary Gallagher, Senior Manager Public Affairs (416) 443-8158


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