Municipalities Will Not Have Access to Land Transfer Tax

During Question Period today Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Ted McMeekin declared that municipalities in Ontario will not be given the option of using a land transfer tax.

Minister McMeekin:

Other than in Toronto, where the power already exists, our government will not be extending municipal land transfer tax powers to other Ontario municipalities…Looking at the consultation that we did, no one was asking for a municipal land transfer tax and there was a campaign of misinformation in the house…It just made sense to me that I was just going to stand up in the house and clarify, is what I did today.

Currently the City of Toronto is the only municipality in Ontario that is authorized to use the land transfer tax. The Association of Municipalities Ontario (AMO) had been advocating for an extension of the LTT, as well as other revenue tools that only Toronto possesses, to the rest of the province’s local governments.

AMO President Gary McNamara:

We’re asking for discretionary authority…Municipalities should have options that fit their communities. Ontario’s municipalities do have to maintain, replace and build infrastructure. They have to make sure that service responsibilities are met.

The extension, however, was opposed by the official opposition, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, and the real-estate industry, especially the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA), who worried that it would impose a chill on real-estate transactions.

The announcement comes on the same day that City of Toronto City Manager Peter Wallace said that Toronto’s finances would have “crashed and burned” if the City had not been able to rely on a hot real-estate market that provided high, but unsustainable revenue from the land transfer tax.

For more:

Ontario says cities outside Toronto cannot charge land-transfer tax

Toronto City Manager warns of ‘gap’ in budget

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