'Double' Toronto Land Transfer Tax Hurt us all! Adds about $3,725 in costs to a $400,000 home.
Toronto home buyers, builders and realtors are waiting to see if Rob Ford keeps one of his key campaign promises when he’s sworn in as mayor – to repeal the Toronto Land Transfer Tax within the first year.
Not everyone - even his staunch supporters - necessarily believe it can be done in that 'little' time.
Ford told the Toronto Real Estate Board’s annual general meeting earlier this month the decision may have to wait until after next year’s provincial election.
Why? “You have to work with the provincial government to eliminate the land transfer tax and the provincial government will be shut down starting probably in April or May,” he told City News after the meeting. “So anything that has to be filtered through the provincial government might be delayed.”
Not so, says TREB spokesperson Von Palmer. Toronto doesn’t necessarily have to filter it through the provincial government. It can impose the tax – and remove it – without any provincial amendments under the City of Toronto Act. But he did confirm Ford could be planning to ask the province to amend the actual act itself, thereby preventing a future mayor from ever re-introducing the Toronto Land Transfer Tax.
Ford could also make the decision to repeal the tax retroactive. “This could be a helpful move especially if there is repeal of the tax to minimize any impact on the market,” Palmer explained, in an email to PropertyWire.
Political observers say Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty may also be more motivated to help remove the additional land transfer tax after this week’s municipal elections. Voters seemed to endorse change in Ford’s overwhelming victory, and Liberals fear that could spill over into next year’s provincial election.
I'm skeptical that Ford will repeal the tax at all. City officials say the Toronto Land Transfer Tax brought in $183 million for Toronto in 2009. Who, or what, will replace that source of income?
Regardless of the final outcome, the longer the decision takes, the more money adds up in city bank accounts.
If I can share some good news about this story, it is that first-time home buyers, who buy a home under $400,000 do not have to pay the tax. You can use our Toronto Land Transfer Tax Calculator to see how much the Double Toronto Land Transfer Tax would add to the cost of your next home.
What are your feelings about Rob Ford setting his sights on the land transfer tax - was it an empty election promise or will this change be coming before you know it?