Poll results: Investors on Toronto foreign tax

With rumblings of a potential tax in Toronto growing, investors have had their say.

Nearly 200 readers took part in the poll, proving just how close to investors’ hearts the potential tax is.

Of those polled in Toronto, sentiment was split right down the middle. 52% of Toronto investors polled believe the tax would be a good thing for the city’s real estate market. The remaining 48% disagree.

However, the split was not nearly as close for investors outside Toronto.

Sixty-two percent of those investors believe a Toronto tax is a good idea. 38% disagree.

As it stands, policymakers in Ontario – namely Kathleen Wynne and Finance Minister Charles Sousa – remain on the fence.

However, one former finance minister has come out in favour of implementing a foreign homebuyer tax in Canada’s largest city.

In a commentary written for the Financial Post last week, the man formerly tasked with presenting the country’s budget and overseeing the Bank of Canada came out in favour of taxing foreign buyers in Toronto.

He cites, among others, the influence B.C.’s 15% foreign tax – which went into effect in early August -- will have on foreigners who will instead choose to park their money in Canada’s largest city.

“Foreign, especially Chinese, buying is often motivated by finding a safe place to hedge against geopolitical risk.
Political tension in China has elevated that perceived risk, resulting in capital flight,” Oliver wrote. “The obvious implication of the B.C. tax is that high-end foreign buyers, attracted to Canada’s stable political environment, will gravitate to the GTA where housing is substantially less expensive than in Vancouver.”

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