New Poll Shows Majority of Torontonians Want Toronto Mayoral and Councillor Candidates to Support Land Transfer Tax Relief for Home Buyers

TORONTO, June 5, 2014 -- With the municipal election campaign in full swing, a new poll is showing that a majority of Torontonians support a reduction of the Toronto Home Buying Tax (Toronto Land Transfer Tax), and would be more likely to vote for a Mayoral or Councillor candidate who supports reducing or eliminating this tax. Since 2008, the average Toronto Land Transfer Tax has increased 78%, more than double the increase in the average house price and outpacing inflation. 

“ The Toronto Home Buying Tax costs the purchaser of an average Toronto home about $8,000, up front, on top of a similar amount for the provincial Land Transfer Tax.  This is a huge cost that hits people when they can least afford it. It targets people like growing families and retirees when they need to move to accommodate their changing lifestyle.  It’s no wonder that Toronto voters want municipal election candidates to commit to relief from this tax for home buyers,” said Dianne Usher, President of the Toronto Real Estate Board.  

The poll was conducted by Ipsos Reid, between May 15th and May 29th, and found that, 

“Clearly, the Toronto Home Buying Tax is an important issue for voters in the upcoming municipal election. Torontonians understand that the Home Buying Tax is bad for our City’s economy and unfairly targets home buyers to pay more than their fair share of taxes,” said Dianne Usher, President, Toronto Real Estate Board.    

Independent research has demonstrated that the Toronto Land Transfer Tax is having a negative impact on the City’s economy.  A 2012 study conducted by the C.D. Howe Institute found that the Toronto Land Transfer Tax has dampened Toronto home sales by 16% annually.  

A new study, released in April 2014, conducted by Altus Group Economic Consulting, found a significant loss of economic activity in the City of Toronto, and a corresponding loss of thousands of jobs, due to the Toronto Land Transfer Tax.  The study found that, between 2008 and 2013, the Toronto Land Transfer Tax is responsible for 

Furthermore, the Ipsos Reid poll found that if recent Toronto home buyers had not had to pay the Toronto Land Transfer Tax, 19% of them would have spent that money on home renovations, 21% would have spent it on furnishings and appliances, and 45% would have used it to reduce their mortgage, thereby adding flexibility to their household budget for other spending. 

“ The Toronto Real Estate Board looks forward to continuing to highlight the impact of the Toronto Home Buying Tax during the municipal election campaign, and raising this issue, along with the public, with municipal election candidates.  We believe that Torontonians will, once again, expect City Council to take action on this issue,” said Von Palmer, TREB’s Chief Government and Public Affairs Officer.

These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted from May 15th to 29th on behalf of the Toronto Real Estate Board. For this survey, a sample of 1,041 adults from Ipsos’ Canadian I-Say panel was interviewed online, of which 525 live in Toronto proper and 515 live in the surrounding 905 region of the GTA. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe.  The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval.  In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/-3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had the entire population of adults in the GTA been polled, +/- 4.9 percentage points of all Torontonians, and +/- 4.9 percentage points of all those living in the surrounding areas of the GTA.