TORONTO, January 10, 2017 -- In advance of its presentation to the City of Toronto’s Budget Committee today, the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) is launching a website (www.anotherobstacle.ca) to shed light on proposed changes to the City’s Land Transfer Tax. These proposed changes could add thousands of dollars in upfront tax for some home buyers. TREB is also releasing the results of a survey conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs, which shows that the vast majority of Torontonians don’t think increases to the City’s Land Transfer Tax should be part of the plan to balance the City’s budget for 2017.
The poll* was conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs from December 29, 2016 to January 4, 2017. It found that:
- 59% of Torontonians oppose including Land Transfer Tax increases in the City’s strategy to balance its budget.
- 67% of Torontonians support increasing the Land Transfer Tax rebate for first-time buyers to reduce the amount of tax that first-time buyers are required to pay.
- 58% of Torontonians oppose changing the City’s Land Transfer Tax policy to add an additional 0.5% to the value of a home between $250,000 and $400,000.
“We are releasing these poll results today, in conjunction with our deputation to the City’s Budget Committee and the launch of our public website, www.anotherobstacle.ca
, to deliver one simple message: City Council should be trying to make home ownership more attainable, not less. These poll results show that the last thing Torontonians want is for City Hall to put up another obstacle to achieving their dream of home ownership, especially in a City where we should be trying to make housing more affordable,” said Larry Cerqua, President of the Toronto Real Estate Board.
TREB is concerned about various proposed changes to the City’s Land Transfer Tax, currently being discussed as part of the City’s 2017 budget process. The proposed changes being discussed would:
- Add an additional 0.5% of tax on all buyers (For repeat home buyers purchasing an average priced home, this would mean a 7% increase of $750 on top of the $11,000 that they already pay to the City. For first-time buyers, it would mean a 6.5% increase of $475, or, at best, the status quo, if the current rebate is not adjusted higher than what is currently being proposed);
- Eliminate the first-time buyer rebate completely for those purchasing a home above a certain threshold, contemplated at $700,000 by City staff. The $700,000 threshold is well BELOW the current average price of a home in Toronto. Under this potential scenario, a first-time home buyer purchasing a home BELOW the current average price would see an unprecedented $3,725 increase, in addition to the $750 increase also being proposed, which would mean a $4,475, or 75%, tax increase for a first-time buyer purchasing a below average-priced home.
“First-time buyers deserve MORE help, not less; and the status quo is simply not good enough. The provincial government recognized this, recently, by doubling their rebate for first-time buyers. That helps with the $12,000 in LTT that home buyers pay to the Province on an average priced home. Unfortunately, under these proposals, Toronto first-time home buyers could be going backwards or standing still, while first-time home buyers in the rest of the province are going forward,” said Von Palmer, TREB’s Chief Government and Public Affairs Officer.
*A total of n=839 surveys were completed online among residents of Toronto aged 18+ from December 29th, 2016 to January 4th, 2017. The sample for this study was drawn from the Ipsos I-Say panel. Quota sampling and weighting were employed in order to balance demographics and ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the actual population of adults residents of Toronto, according to Census data. The precision of online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the results are accurate to within +/- 3.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had the entire population of Canadian adults been polled.