Toronto Real Estate Board Looks Forward to Working with New City of Toronto Budget Chief on Phase-Out of Land Transfer Tax

On behalf of its over 36,000 REALTOR® Members, the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) congratulates Councillor Frank Di Giorgio on his appointment as Chair of the City of Toronto’s Budget Committee.  TREB looks forward to working with Councillor Di Giorgio in this critical position as he moves the City’s agenda forward, especially with regard to fulfilling Mayor Ford’s strong commitment to begin phasing out the Land Transfer Tax.

 “We applaud Councillor Di Giorgio for his commitment to the City.   The role of Budget Chief is critical to the success of our City.  We look forward to working with Councillor Di Giorgio, in his new role, as he works to address the many important budget issues facing our City, especially the negative impacts of the Toronto Land Transfer Tax,” said Ms. Hannah.

 TREB recently released the results of public opinion polling, conducted by Ipsos Reid, which found:

  • Nearly seven in ten Torontonians, 68 per cent, support plans to eliminate the Toronto Land Transfer Tax.   This is up from 65 per cent one year ago.
  • 77 per cent of GTA residents planning to purchase a home in the next two years are more likely to purchase outside Toronto specifically to avoid paying the Toronto Land Transfer Tax.
  • 72 per cent oppose municipal land transfer taxes even if this tax was dedicated for spending on transit and infrastructure.
  • 76 per cent of Torontonians who recently paid the LTT feel that they have received little or no added value in municipal services for the amount of LTT that they paid.

 “For the buyer of an average detached home in Toronto, the municipal land transfer tax costs about $10,000. It is unfair to expect people like down-sizing seniors, or young growing families who need more space, to pay so much more than their fair share,” said Ms. Hannah.

 Research has proven that municipal land transfer taxes have a negative impact on home sales. The C.D. Howe Institute recently released an analysis of the Toronto Land Transfer Tax, which shows that this tax has hurt Toronto’s economy by dampening home sales by 16 per cent.  In addition, the Ipsos Reid poll found that 25 per cent of the people who recently purchased a home in Toronto would have spent their land transfer tax money on furnishings or appliances, if they had not had to give it to the City, and 21 per cent would have spent it on renovations.

 “Housing sales create jobs because when people move they spend money on things like renovations, movers, appliances, and furnishings.  In fact, studies have shown that every resale housing transaction results in over $40,000 of spin-off spending. Every housing sale that is lost as a result of the Toronto land transfer tax risks Toronto jobs,” said Ms. Hannah.

 The noted poll results are some of the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between November 24th and 29th, 2012, on behalf of the Toronto Real Estate Board. For this survey a sample of 1,112 residents of the GTA from Ipsos’ Canadian online panel was interviewed online. 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 approximate the sample universe.  The precision of Ipsos online polls are measured using a credibility interval.  In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/- 3.4 percentage points of all residents in the GTA region.  The credibility interval will be larger for sub-groupings of this population.  All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

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