Torontonians Opposed to Land Transfer Tax Despite "Fair Taxes" Campaign: Public Opinion Poll



    TORONTO, Oct. 15 /CNW/ - Even after months of the "Fair Taxes" campaign
by Mayor David Miller and City Councillors supporting new taxes, a solid
majority of Torontonians, 62 per cent, believe that a Toronto land transfer
tax is not a fair solution to the City's financial difficulties. This was
among the key findings of a public opinion poll released today.
    The poll was conducted by Environics Research Group Ltd. for the Toronto
Real Estate Board (TREB), the Building Industry and Land Development
Association (BILD), the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) and the Ontario
Home Builders' Association (OHBA).
    "This poll makes it clear that if Mayor Miller is truly listening to the
public, he will take his plans for a land transfer tax off the table
immediately," said Maureen O'Neill, TREB President. "In fact, the poll shows
that even the all-out public relations campaign by the Mayor and some City
Councillors has not convinced the public to support the land transfer tax;
they still think it is unfair."
    According to the poll, 85 per cent of Torontonians say that the "Fair
Taxes" public relations campaign has had no impact on their level of support
for the land transfer tax or has made them even more opposed to it.
Furthermore, 69 per cent of Torontonians say that modifications to the Land
Transfer Tax proposal would make no difference to their level of support, or,
in fact, would make them even more opposed to it.
    "The public clearly believes that new housing taxes are not the answer to
the City's financial difficulties. They want the City to get its own house in
order, cut costs, prioritize services and then spread the tax burden more
fairly," said Bob Finnigan, BILD President.
    According to the poll, 60 per cent of Torontonians believe that there is
a lot of waste and inefficiency in the way the City of Toronto is run and that
the fiscal problems could be largely solved by cutting waste and focusing City
spending on core municipal services. Furthermore, 65 per cent of Torontonians
don't believe that the City will be run any more efficiently if new taxes are
approved.
    "Various groups have argued that the City would benefit from an adequate
and independent third-party review of its services. Not only does the public
agree with this, but they also strongly believe that the City should wait
until that review is finished before making any decisions about new taxes,"
said Brian Walker, OREA President.
    Sixty-four per cent of Torontonians support an independent third party
review of City services that would recommend ways to cut costs and identify
discretionary services as an alternative to increasing taxes. If such a review
is started, 78 per cent of Torontonians think that the City should wait for
its results before making any decisions on new taxes.
    "Unfortunately, the City's land transfer tax could be the thin edge of
the wedge. The public realizes that there is no guarantee that the City won't
come looking for additional new taxes if they approve the land transfer tax,"
said Mark Basciano, OHBA President.
    Eighty-three per cent of Torontonians think that a land transfer tax will
not solve the City's financial difficulties and that, even if it is approved,
the City will still pursue additional new taxes in the future.
    The poll of 501 Toronto residents aged 18 years or over was conducted by
telephone on October 8th and 9th, 2007. It is considered accurate to within
+/- 4.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
    A summary of key findings is provided below. For more information visit
www.NoHomeBuyingTax.com.

    Summary of Key Findings

    62% of respondents think that the land transfer tax is not a fair
solution to the City's financial difficulties
    61% of respondents would like their own City Councillor to vote no to the
land transfer tax proposal.
    85% of respondents say that the "Fair Taxes" public relations campaign
has made no impact on them, or made them more opposed to new taxes.
    59% of respondents do not want the City of Toronto to deal with its
financial difficulties by introducing new taxes.
    60% of respondents have the view that there is a lot of waste and
inefficiency in the way the City of Toronto is run and that the fiscal
problems could be largely solved through cutting waste and focusing City
spending onto core municipal services
    65% of respondents think that the City will not be run any more
efficiently if it raises new revenue through the land transfer tax
    64% of respondents support an independent third party review of City
services that would recommend ways to cut costs and identify discretionary
services as an alternative to increasing taxes.
    78% of respondents think the City should wait until an independent third
party review of City services is completed before making a decision on new
taxes.
    83% of respondents think that if the City approves the LTT, it will still
pursue additional new taxes in the future.
    69% of respondents say that changes to the LTT proposal would make no
difference to their level of support for the tax or would make them more
opposed to it.
    57% of respondents said that a Toronto LTT would impact their ability to
afford to buy a home.




For further information:

For further information: For All Media/Public Inquiries: Mary Gallagher,
Manager Media Relations, Toronto Real Estate Board, Office: (416) 443-5158,
Cell: (416) 419-8133, maryg@trebnet.com; Cynthia Malagerio, Building Industry
and Land Development Association, (416) 391-3450, cmalagerio@bildgta.ca; Jim
Flood, Director, Government & RECO Relations, Commercial & OIS, Ontario Real
Estate Association, (416) 442-3408; Michael Collins-Williams, Manager,
Government Relations, Ontario Home Builders' Association, (416) 443-1545,
mikecw@ohba.ca

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TORONTO REAL ESTATE BOARD

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