How will the next mayor of Toronto affect the housing industry?

Election day is fast approaching, and many are wondering how Toronto’s prominent housing industry will be affected.

Last Saturday, Toronto Star ran an article about a recent debate sponsored by the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD). The five mayoral candidates responded to issues concerning new home builders in Toronto such as city-imposed building costs and the approval process.

When it comes to the building industry in Toronto, the land transfer tax is one of the main topics of discussion.

George Smitherman said he will not cut the land transfer tax, but he would freeze property taxes for a year. Smitherman puts emphasis on the environmental and service aspects of the housing industry. According to his website, Smitherman wants to increase water conservation which could mean changes for the Ontario Building Code, for all new home, office and institution construction.

Meanwhile, Rob Ford plans to eliminate the land transfer tax altogether. Here’s a snippet taken from Rob Ford’s website on the land transfer tax:

Eliminate the Land Transfer Tax.

People who buy and sell homes in Toronto must pay a new Land Transfer Tax to City Hall on top of all the other charges associated with buying or selling a home. This punishes people and families who live in Toronto and makes the city less affordable for many people. This tax is driving business, families, and people away from Toronto. Rob Ford will move to abolish the Land Transfer Tax in his first year as Mayor.

On the other hand, Rocco Rossi plans not to eliminate the land transfer tax. He says he will get city spending under control and find a way to phase out the tax by the end of his first term.

Sarah Thomson wants to cut the land transfer tax, because it is a barrier to sales.

Finally, Pantalone believes that land transfer taxes are justified as they are common in large cities and are only paid by those who are buying a home at a time when they are choosing to spend money.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mustafiz
    Sep 24, 2010 @ 19:15:35

    Bravo Ford. I like it because this will stop people and businesses running out of Toronto. However, this means the city will not have this revenue stream. I know Rob has been talking of cheching the spending. Good idea but to what extent this is feasible. Should we fear that land transfer tax revenue will be replaced by another new tax? I am gonna vote for hima anyways.


      Sep 28, 2010 @ 16:34:56

      If spending is under control at city hall, there will be no need for all these extra taxes.. People who think Toronto is operated well, need to look around a bit more. Mississauga is a great example of a fairly well managed city. No Debit, VERY CLEAN, they could improve public transit, but overall it’s a very nice place to live. If we get another TAX and SPEND mayor in, I for one will be moving my family to Mississauga. FORD has my vote..


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