Buying a home in Ontario could be about to get more expensive

UPDATE: Buying a home in Ontario could be about to get more expensive
Finance Minister says nothing has been decided yet
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The cost of buying a house in many parts of Ontario may be going up because of new taxes.

The Ontario Real Estate Association says the Wynne Government is about to give all other municipalities in the province the same authority as Toronto now has, the right to set up their own municipal land transfer tax and piggyback that on to what the province charges.

In Toronto that has doubled the land transfer tax to as much as $15,000 on a home priced at about $450,000. Half of that money goes to the province, half to Toronto.

The Ontario Real Estate Association is fuming, calling it an "unfair, unsustainable and unpredictable tax."  

It also accuses the premier of breaking an election promise, saying the Liberals wrote to the Association during the election campaign saying they had "no plans" to extend the Land Transfer Tax powers to other municipalities such as Mississauga, Brampton,  Vaughan, Oshawa, Pickering, Burlington and Oakville.

When pressed on the issue during Question Period Tuesday, Finance Minister Charles Sousa stressed that no decision has been made.

Sousa says at this stage the government is consulting with municipalities covering issues like whether they have the tools needed to deliver services effectively and addressing any barriers to that service delivery.

Sousa encouraged cities, towns and members of the public to "speak their minds" through the consultation process.

NEWSTALK 1010 Real Estate Analyst Todd C Slater says if cities bring in this tax "It's going to make (some buyers) struggle a little because it's that much more money that's out of their pocket...this is hard cash on the day of closing they have to pay this tax."

He believes a double land transfer tax would make it more difficult for first time home buyers and might cause some to stay in Toronto and settle with "less house" instead of being faced with increased closing costs and a long and often frustrating drive into the city for work.

Slater tells NEWSTALK 1010 that it could mean slow price growth in the suburbs, predicting that if implemented, demand for suburban homes would slow.

Courtesy Newstalk 1010 


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Sharon Nairn

Sharon Nairn

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CENTURY 21 Dreams Inc., Brokerage*
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