REALTORS(R) Disappointed that Public Opinion on Land Transfer Tax Ignored



    TORONTO, Oct. 24 /CNW/ - Toronto's REALTORS(R) are concerned about the
potential impact of the City of Toronto's recently approved second land
transfer tax and disappointed that the public's opinion of this tax was
ignored.
    "REALTORS(R) have been working hard to provide the facts about this
unfair idea and the public responded with action. An overwhelming majority of
Torontonians believe that this tax is a bad idea," said Maureen O'Neill,
President of the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB). "The public made their
voices heard loud and clear but, unfortunately, they were ignored."
    A poll conducted by the Environics Research Group, commissioned in part
by TREB, showed that 62 per cent of Torontonians think that a land transfer
tax is an unfair solution to the City's financial challenge and that 61 per
cent of Torontonians wanted their Councillor to vote against it.
    "Torontonians deserve to be treated fairly. A second land transfer tax is
an extremely unfair way to address the City's financial challenges. It forces
a relatively small group, home buyers, to pay for services for everyone. That,
simply, is unfair," added O'Neill.
    TREB also raised concerns about the potential impact of a second land
transfer tax.
    "Home ownership is something that the City should be trying to encourage,
not discourage. The second land transfer tax will make it more difficult for
people to achieve that dream and it could hurt property values for some
current home owners," said O'Neill. "It could also have far-reaching impacts
on the City's whole economy by reducing the amount of money that home buyers
have to spend on things like furniture, renovations, and energy-efficiency
upgrades."
    TREB is disappointed that the City is choosing new taxes instead of more
prudent solutions. Specifically, TREB believes that the City should have
waited for the Mayor's panel to report on alternative options. The  Environics
poll showed that 78 per cent of Torontonians think that City Council should
have waited until the Mayor's panel finished its work before deciding on new
taxes.
    "This is a classic example of putting the cart before the horse: tax now,
save later. That, simply, doesn't make sense," said O'Neill. "The Mayor
appointed a panel to look for savings and other options and we applaud him for
that. The panel is something that TREB, and the public, called for, but they
should have been allowed to finish their work so that fair options could have
been considered instead of a land transfer tax."
    TREB has consistently supported fair options for dealing with the City's
financial challenges, including a more fair deal with senior levels of
government, and continues to support City efforts in this regard.
    "Unfortunately, we disagree with the City on the land transfer tax, and
we will continue to oppose it. We continue to believe that it is not fair,"
said O'Neill. "Let's not forget that this tax doesn't solve the City's
financial challenge. We look forward to working with the City towards fair
solutions. We will continue to push for a fair deal for Toronto from senior
levels of government, as we always have."

    Toronto REALTORS(R) are passionate about their work. They adhere to a
strict code of ethics and share a state-of-the-art Multiple Listing Service.
Serving more than 26,000 Members in the Greater Toronto Area, the Toronto Real
Estate Board is Canada's largest real estate board. Greater Toronto Area open
house listings are available on www.TorontoRealEstateBoard.com.




For further information:

For further information: For All Media/Public Inquiries: Mary Gallagher,
Manager, Media Relations, Toronto Real Estate Board, Office: (416) 443-8158,
Cell: (416) 419-8133, Email: maryg@trebnet.com

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TORONTO REAL ESTATE BOARD

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