This site uses cookies.

The types of cookies we use, and the way we use them, are explained in our Privacy Policy. By clicking "Accept" or continuing to use our site, you agree to our use of Cookies.
More information

Land Transfer Tax Very Unpopular With Mississauga Residents

December 6, 2012 - Updated: December 6, 2012

Amid a continuing push by realtors to scrap Toronto’s land-transfer tax, the neighbouring city of Mississauga this week halted its own study of the tax — but it may not be long before the issue resurfaces at council tables across the province.

The Large Urban Mayors’ Caucus of Ontario has launched talks to determine whether municipalities should seek new taxation powers from the province, much as Toronto gained years ago through the City of Toronto Act. That led to Toronto’s controversial land-transfer tax, which Mayor Rob Ford pledged he would kill, only to have his budget chief determine the city’s finances were too tight to immediately surrender the $330-million revenue source.

Mississauga — which had been mulling its own version of the tax, subject to provincial approval — decided this week to defer any further action until the caucus presents its findings, leaving critics scrambling to shore up public censure.

“The land-transfer tax is a wrong tax. It’s unfair to expect homebuyers to shoulder a burden for the same level of service that others are privy to,” Toronto Real Estate Board spokesman Von Palmer said. “It threatens jobs; there’s no doubt it’s bad for the economy.”

A board-commissioned Ipsos Reid survey of more than 1,000 Greater Toronto residents, released Tuesday, found 83% of 905 residents opposed the imposition of a land-transfer tax “to offset municipal deficits or to put towards increased spending on infrastructure and other city programs.” Among 905 residents who were planning to buy a home within the next two years, 89% said they were more likely to purchase outside of Toronto, specifically to avoid paying the tax. The poll, conducted last month, is considered accurate to within plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.

In light of those numbers, the mayors’ caucus discussions should raise a red flag, Mr. Palmer said.

“The last thing that we need is for a second land-transfer tax to spread across the province,” he noted. “We plan on fighting this.”

Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion, who did not return a request for comment Tuesday, has previously urged the city to consider the land-transfer tax and other revenue-generating tools as it struggles with unprecedented financial shortfalls. The city estimates such a tax could bring in around $75-million, but some councillors remain staunchly opposed.

“I’m dead set against a land-transfer tax for some basic, fundamental reasons: It’s illogical, it’s regressive, it’s very, very bad public policy,” Councillor Nando Iannicca said, noting if the city is granted new taxation powers, the province may feel justified in denying subsequent infrastructure funding requests.

“Toronto might have the will for something like this… In suburbia, I don’t think it sells.”

Other 905 municipalities, such as Brampton, Markham and Oshawa, say land-transfer taxes have not been a topic of discussion. It was therefore too early to determine council’s position, Oshawa Mayor John Henry said, but he looked forward to the larger debate on municipal taxation powers, noting Toronto should not be an island in that regard.

“No one municipality should have rights that exceed the rights of any other municipality. Everybody should have the opportunity to look at all aspects of revenue generation… It’s only fair that the entire province plays by the exact same rules,” Mr. Henry said.

Hamilton Mayor Bob Bratina, who is also a member of the mayors’ caucus, said the land-transfer tax would likely be broached in his council in the context of funding tools when the city’s transportation master plan comes forward.

“I personally would consider very carefully any increase in the cost of doing business in Hamilton,” Mr. Bratina said, “[but] we need a really fulsome discussion on this.”

National Post

Tagged with: mississauga land transfer tax land tax mississauga homes for sale toronto homes for sale condos home freehold michael kelly realtor sutton group market watch sales
| | Share

Leave a comment...

Michael Kelly Sales Representative

Sutton Group Realty Systems Brokerage

Independently owned and operated

1528 Dundas Street West, Mississauga ON, L5C 1E4

Office: 905-896-3333

Fax: 905-848-5327

Mobile: 647-408-5226

Powered by Lone Wolf Real Estate Technologies (CMS6)