The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) is raising concerns about a new proposal calling for the City of Toronto to increase its Municipal Land Transfer Tax on the most expensive properties.
“City Council just finished a budget process which showed that revenue from the Municipal Land Transfer Tax is expected to come in about $100 million less than expected for last year,
says TREB president Garry Bhaura. “Unfortunately, it appears that was not enough to scare them straight because this new proposal is calling for the city to rely on this unpredictable revenue stream even more. When will it end? It’s a slippery slope to rely on this tax as the ‘go-to’ funding source for initiatives that are more appropriately funded from reliable and stable sources like the property tax base.”
TREB is responding to a motion that calls for consideration of an additional tier of Municipal Land Transfer Tax rates, above the current top tier, to fund the City’s Housing Allowance Program.
“We have always told City Council that the Municipal Land Transfer Tax is a bad way to generate revenue, and that became obvious last year and during this year’s budget process. Housing our most vulnerable citizens should be done with stable and predictable revenue. As noted in the councillors’ motion, it is anticipated that housing benefits will be introduced through the federal National Housing Strategy. This is a much more appropriate and stable way to fund these needs,” says John DiMichele, TREB’s CEO.
For 2019, the Municipal Land Transfer Tax is budgeted to raise almost $730 million.