Against Toronto’s Land Transfer Tax

Toronto votes on whether to implement its unpopular land transfer tax tomorrow.

If passed, it would take effect January 1, 2008 and impose up to 2% more tax on sales of property in Toronto.

The Independent Mortgage Brokers Association of Ontario feels it’s a terrible idea, and has issued this open letter to Mayor David Miller.

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Dear Mayor Miller,

On behalf of the 1,700 Members of the Independent Mortgage Brokers Association of Ontario (IMBA), I am writing to urge you and the Members of Toronto City Council not to proceed with the proposed Toronto Land Transfer Tax.

In our view, the proposed tax is unfair and short-sighted.

IMBA believes the proposed tax is unfair because:

  • It distorts the real estate marketplace and puts property owners in the City of Toronto at a disadvantage compared to their counterparts in surrounding municipalities.
  • It adds a substantial cost for homebuyers who are already burdened with the existing provincial land transfer tax.
  • It discriminates against homebuyers who will be paying a second land transfer tax for city services, which are available to all residents.

IMBA believes the proposed tax is short-sighted because:

  • It uses an arbitrary tax to address a budgetary shortfall when the City of Toronto should first be bringing spending under tighter control.
  • It is an inequitable tax burden that will drive growth from the City of Toronto to surrounding municipalities resulting in more urban sprawl and pollution.
  • It proposes to double tax one segment of the population when the City of Toronto should be working with the governments of Canada and Ontario to find a long-term sustainable revenue sharing formula. (The federal and provincial governments already collect enough taxes, but they must ensure that the City of Toronto receives an appropriate share of that tax money. A vibrant Toronto is essential to a vibrant Canada and Ontario.)

We strongly urge you and the Members of City Council to reject the proposed Toronto Land Transfer Tax, in favour of addressing the issues of overspending and adequate revenue sharing with the federal and provincial governments.

Yours sincerely,

Shane Suepaul
President
Independent Mortgage Brokers Association of Ontario

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