TORONTO, September 28, 2018 -- Amid new polling results showing continued strong public opposition to municipal land transfer taxes, the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) has released a policy paper calling for reform of the Toronto Land Transfer Tax and for no new municipal land transfer taxes in other Greater Toronto Area (GTA) municipalities. The paper, which is the first in a series of TREB municipal election policy briefs on issues related to housing supply in the GTA, as well as the poll results, were released to draw the attention of current municipal election candidates to this important issue.
The poll, conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs, found that,
"Housing supply and choice is the key housing issue that municipal candidates should be addressing during this municipal election campaign. It's a complex issue with many factors influencing it, not the least of which are land transfer taxes. The policy paper we are releasing today points out that the impact of these taxes isn't just the substantial sum that it adds to the upfront closing costs for home buyers; perhaps even more significantly, it impacts the availability of homes for sale that purchasers can choose from because many current homeowners choose to stay put instead of moving when they consider their transaction costs, of which land transfer taxes are often the biggest part," said Garry Bhaura, President of the Toronto Real Estate Board.
A separate study by the C.D. Howe Institute, titled "Stuck in Place," found that the Toronto Land Transfer Tax is directly responsible for reducing housing supply by 16% every year, which can be attributed to reduced mobility because of the tax.
The TREB policy paper is calling for
"We want municipal candidates in Toronto and the GTA to understand the full impact of land transfer taxes on the real estate market. During the 2017 Toronto budget process, under the leadership of the Mayor's office, an important adjustment was made to the first-time buyer rebate to ensure that it kept pace with proposed changes. We applaud the Mayor for recognizing that need, and we hope to work with the new City Council on further adjustments to limit the negative effects of this tax on housing supply and choice," said John DiMichele, Chief Executive Officer of TREB.
About the GTA Municipal Elections Poll
For this survey, a sample of 1,503 GTA residents from the Ipsos i-Say panel were interviewed from August 20 to 23, 2018. Quotas and weighting were employed to ensure that the sample's composition reflects the overall population according to census information. The precision of online polls is measured using credibility interval. In this case, the results are accurate to within +/- 2.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had all adults in the GTA been polled. Credibility intervals are wider among subsets of the population.