TORONTO, December 14, 2016 — The Toronto Real Estate Board is urging Toronto City Council to act early to stop a potential significant Land Transfer Tax increase, a proposal that is currently working its way through the City’s approval and budget process.
Yesterday, City Council formally asked the City’s budget Committee to consider changes in LTT policy that could see home buyers of average-priced properties pay another $ 750 to City Hall, on top of the $ 11,000 in LTT that they already pay City Hall as an upfront closing cost, a seven percent increase. This is in addition to another upfront $ 12,000 in LTT they pay to the Province. The proposed changes would also see first-time home buyers either paying up to $ 475 more, or, at best, being no better off than they are now, even though the Province recently doubled their rebate in recognition of the needs of first-time buyers.
“Toronto’s housing prices are top of mind for many Torontonians. Simply put, housing affordability is water-cooler talk in Toronto. The last thing people want to hear is that City Hall wants them to dish out another $ 750, on top of the $ 11,000 that they already pay. City Hall should be looking for ways to make housing affordability in Toronto better, not worse; especially for first-time buyers who, under these proposals, will be going backwards, or at best be no better off,” said Larry Cerqua, President of the Toronto Real Estate Board.
The proposed changes would have the following effects:
“Time and time again, we have heard City Hall talk about the importance of housing affordability, and yet here is another proposal that will make this great City less affordable. It simply doesn’t make sense,” said Von Palmer, Chief Communications and Government Affairs Officer at TREB. “City Council should stop this proposal in its tracks and refuse to refer it for consideration during the upcoming budget process.”