Last week, as Ontario’s provincial election entered its final stretch, the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) and Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) jointly called on MPP candidates vying for seats in the York Region to reject requests to expand the reach of the municipal land transfer tax.
“It’s no secret that municipalities across Ontario have been asking the provincial government for new taxing power,” TREB president Tim Syrianos said in a news release. “York Region home buyers are already charged a provincial land transfer tax, so by adding a municipal tax, the Region will double the tax burden on local families.”
Such a move would adversely affect housing affordability by inflating the cost of an average-priced home in the area to the tune of $15,000, according to the news release. What’s more, it slammed the municipal land transfer tax as an unreliable revenue source that ignores the real issue of insufficient supply in the GTA housing market.
The news release further asserted that the municipal land transfer tax would have the same kind of detrimental effects in the York Region it has had in Toronto, where it was introduced a decade ago. The tax saddled home buyers with higher taxes and discouraged home owners from trading up as prospective sellers faced higher moving costs, it said, limiting the pool of so-called ‘missing middle’ housing options, which, as their name suggests, are in short supply.
“We’ve been down this road before, with municipalities asking for new taxing power and the provincial government considering their requests,” OREA president David Reid said in the news release. “Home buyers need relief, not new taxes. We hope voters in York Region will consider where their local candidates stand on this issue before casting their ballot on June 7.”