Land Transfer Tax Immediately, REALTORS® Tell Councillors
REALTORS® and the public they serve, have not forgotten about the
motion approved by City Council last fall, which committed to rolling back the
Land Transfer Tax once the provincial government starts addressing the funding
of downloaded services, said Maureen O'Neill, President of the Toronto Real
Estate Board (TREB). We believe that recent progress means that the City
can, and should begin rolling back the Land Transfer Tax immediately.
When City Council approved the implementation of the Toronto Land Transfer
Tax on October 22, 2007, it also approved a motion committing to reduce the Land
Transfer Tax by $50 million once the Province has uploaded 50 per cent of the
City's estimate of downloaded costs of $729 million. In its written submission
to the City's Executive Committee, TREB pointed out that the City is already in
a position to implement the intent of this motion because of :
Recent progress on uploading and other provincial funding, taken together
with even modest implementation of the Mayor's Fiscal Review Panel's recommendations,
will reduce pressure on this year's budget by literally hundreds of millions of
dollars, said O'Neill.
TREB also believes that City Council can begin rolling back the Toronto Land
Transfer Tax, while keeping property tax increases to the rate of inflation as
promised by Mayor Miller.
The Mayor committed to keeping property tax increases in-line with inflation,
but the proposed residential increase is double the rate of inflation, said
O'Neill. We believe that there is enough flexibility in the 2008 Budget
to allow City Council to meet the Mayor's property tax commitment, while also
fulfilling the commitment to roll back the Toronto Land Transfer Tax.
One of the key recommendations in TREB's submission to the City's Executive
Committee calls on the City to focus on core services, optimize efficiencies and
implement innovative options, consistent with the recommendations of the Mayor's
Fiscal Review Panel.
On numerous occasions, TREB called for an independent review of the City's finances, and we are encouraged by the work of the Mayor's Fiscal Review Panel, said O'Neill. It is clear that many of TREB's views regarding fair ways to address the City's financial challenges have been validated by the Panel.
Copy of TREB's Toronto Budget Submission is available upon request.
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