Ontario considers allowing municipalities to set land transfer tax
Dario Balca, CTV Toronto
Published Tuesday, October 27, 2015 10:48PM EDT
The Ontario government is considering whether to give all municipalities the power to set their own land transfer taxes -- a move that could cost those buying or selling homes thousands more.
Ontario homebuyers already pay a set, provincial land transfer tax. In 2006, the province gave the City of Toronto the ability to levy its own tax in addition to the provincial fee.
Now, the government may extend that power to municipalities across the province.
“It’s not good for Ontarians,” said Pat Verge of the Ontario Real Estate Association. “They’re taxed to the death in this province and there’s no reason for that.”
The association said it has learned that the province is poised to change the Municipal Act to give cities and town to implement the additional taxes.
Toronto homebuyers currently pay the highest land transfer tax in the country. As it stands, the land transfer tax on a home in Toronto for $650,000 would be $18,200.
And critics are worried that all Ontarians will have to face similar fees when buying and selling property.
“It’s just one more sort of hit in the gut on trying to come up with enough money to buy your first home,” said real estate agent Betty Ramsay.
But others say that implementing land transfer taxes across the province is only fair.
“Let those municipal governments have the conversation with their communities what -- if any -- out of that tool box might make sense in those local contexts,” said Pat Vanini, the executive direction of the Association of Municipalities Ontario.
Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa has dodged questions about the land transfer tax, despite opposition parties calling for a clear answer on the province’s plans.
Sousa says the changes would not come into effect until next spring.
Even if the province gives municipalities the power to levy an extra tax, it would be up to each local government to decide if it would implement an extra fee.
With a report from CTV Toronto's Ashley Rowe