Poll: 15% tax in Toronto

A 15% foreign sales tax may be imminent in Toronto – at least if one former Finance Minister has his way – so we want to know: Would that be a good or bad thing for the market?

We want our readers to have a say. Vote now.

Former Finance Minister Joe Oliver penned his opinion for the Financial Post Thursday, imploring policymakers to institute a similar home sales tax in Toronto to the one recently passed in Vancouver.

“I’ll admit I am outside my comfort zone in recommending a tax hike. However, I have always taken a pragmatic rather than ideological approach to fiscal policy and what I’m about to recommend is not a tax on Canadian residents,” Oliver wrote. “So, here goes. The Ontario government should quickly impose a 15 per cent tax on purchases by non-residents and foreigners of residential property in certain Greater Toronto Area (GTA) communities.”

Oliver’s piece appeared on the same day it was reported Vancouver’s tax had helped curb foreign purchased of real estate.
According to a statement by B.C.’s Ministry of Finance, released Thursday, a rush of foreign buyers flocked to the market prior to the Aug. 2 deadline. Interested petered off significantly following, however.

The Ministry claims 55% of residential home purchases in Metro Vancouver involved foreign nationals on the last business day, July 29, prior to the deadline.

And with the sales tax seemingly having its desired effect in Vancouver, it may not be long before Toronto policymakers take a page out of the same book.

Before – and, indeed, when – Toronto sees its own tax, Joe Oliver has some suggestions for policymakers to consider.

“I would time the implementation differently than in B.C. The tax should take effect the instant it’s announced, rather than giving buyers eight days to skirt it,” he wrote. “Also, it should not apply retroactively to transactions that were signed but not closed, which is fundamentally unfair.”

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  • by Canadian Property Owner 2016-09-23 10:55:56 AM

    So one politician has a bad idea (for the consumer and for Canadians) so another politician should follow. I love how the fact that government inaction on housing supply turns into a way for government to take even more hard earned money from Canadians (not just foreigners). If you don't think it affects Canadians, what about all the people who own property in Vancouver, their property is now worth less post tax increase. So who really wins? Government and people who will buy now. Who loses all current property owners most of whom are Canadian.

  • by Don johnson 2016-09-23 10:59:29 AM

    The problem with high prices is not foreign buyers - it is the red tape and massive taxes to build new homes - by the time a builder builds an 800000$ detached home in the burbs there is close to 400000$ of various taxes Hst transfer tax permit development fees interest costs due to gov't induced delays not to mention the payroll taxes - UIC,income tax, workman comp, cpp, etc

    blemd this with massive amounts of deficit spending meaning government is increasing money supply and you have more dollars in search of restricted supply and prices will go up

    Now the government that causes the problem wants to dictate who we can sell our homes to and wants to get another chunk of our equity with another tax - effectively a new 15% tax on top of land transfer - ( look at Toronto have imposed a second tax) -

    this has nothing to due with a plan to make homes affordable it is a well orchestrated public relations scheme of the government to get at the last remaining chunk of family equity

    When the government runs a deficit and prints money to cover the debt by magically creating illusionary mortgages - that money doesn't increase goods it increases the money supply which causes prices to go up

    Read article 21 of the United Nations manifesto - it clearly calls for all real estate to be owned by the government and the people are deemed as tenants

    This is a direct attack on our common law rights of property ownership and the governments interference is clearly defined
    In the Ontario expropriations act as expropriation

    but the government is broke and if you support this economic facade to make homes affordable then there is no hope because that is what they are counting on to get around the concept your home is a tax free savings account

  • by Jimmy 2016-09-23 11:04:25 AM

    Stats just released in BC and they are huge, all the people saying foreign buyers were minimal look like fools now.

    I would bet GTA and Toronto is not far behind. Foreign buyers should be banned completely. When you have a housing shortage, Canadian residents should come first not some millionaire who doesnt live here or some "student" that wants to buy a house with parents money, or who knows where it came from. Bunch of nonsense .



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