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Plans for tax for home buyers dropped

Todd-SmithAfter a prolonged effort by realtors and MPPs at Queen’s Park, the Liberal government has rescinded plans to expand Municipal Land Transfer Tax powers beyond Toronto.

The expansion of the tax was a part of the government’s ongoing review of the Municipal Act. Municipal Affairs Minister Ted McMeekin announced Tuesday in Question Period that expansion of the Land Transfer Tax powers were no longer part of the review.

“It’s a huge victory for home buyers in Ontario,” said Todd Smith, Prince Edward-Hastings MPP. “In Quinte, the introduction of this additional tax would have cost the average home buyer $5,000 up front when they bought a home.

According to figures provided by the Ontario Real Estate Association, the City of Toronto has seen 2.3 billion dollars taken out of the economy since it introduced its own Land Transfer Tax almost a decade ago. Smith said the figures also state $772 million of labour income was lost as a result of the Land Transfer Tax.

“For weeks, local realtors and MPPs have been pressuring the government about this issue at Queen’s Park,” he said. “My colleague, Steve Clark, was all set to debate a motion on Thursday opposing the expansion of the Land Transfer Tax when the government announced it was killing it. This was a real grassroots effort by people around the province. That’s what killed it.”

For Smith, the source of his opposition was rooted in more than just how the tax would have hit home buyers.

“A quarter of people say they are going to depend on the income from the equity in their home for their retirement. This would have been a tax on their retirement because anything that makes it harder to buy a home, also makes it harder to sell one.”

Filed Under: Local News

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