Toronto's REALTORS(R) Rally to Deliver Land Transfer Tax Message: No Compromise



    TORONTO, Oct. 18 /CNW/ - Joined by various Toronto City Councillors,
hundreds of REALTORS(R) rallied together today to signal their strong
opposition to a second land transfer tax in any shape or form. The event, part
of the Toronto Real Estate Board's Annual General Meeting, featured a keynote
address by Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, followed by a panel of City
Councillors who have fought against the proposed land transfer tax, including
Councillor Minnan-Wong, Councillor Mike Feldman, Councillor Case Ootes,
Councillor Mike Del Grande and Councillor Mike Thompson.
    "With the vote just days away, REALTORS(R) came together today to make
sure that our voices are heard. A City land transfer tax is simply unfair, and
no amount of concessions from the Mayor can change that fact,"said Maureen
O'Neill, President of the Toronto Real Estate Board. "A second land transfer
tax on top of the existing provincial land transfer tax is unfair; targeting
five per cent of residents, home buyers, to cover the majority of the City's
budget shortfall is unfair; making it more difficult to achieve the dream of
home ownership is unfair. The public understands this, which is why they are
opposed to the land transfer tax in any shape or form."
    According to a recent poll conducted by Environics Research Group Ltd, in
part for TREB, 69 per cent of Torontonians say that changes to the City's land
transfer tax proposal would make no difference to their level of support for
the tax, or would, in fact, make them even more opposed to it.
    "Even though no amount of concessions could make the land transfer tax
fair, the compromise recently reported on by the media is hardly a compromise
at all. It would still be double taxation that would represent about an 85 per
cent increase in land transfer taxes, which means average home buyers will
still have to come up with about $3,500 more up front."
    TREB also had suggestions regarding the panel announced today by Mayor
Miller to review the City's finances. The Environics poll revealed that 78 per
cent of Torontonians think that the City should wait until the panel finishes
its work before making any decision on new taxes.
    "City Council can and should wait for the Mayor's panel to finish its job
so that fair options to the City's financial challenge can be considered
instead of new taxes," said O'Neill. "The City's budget for this year is
already set and doesn't depend on new taxes. For next year, the provincial
government has committed to addressing municipal finance issues, and
alternative options from the Mayor's panel will be available. This is the
prudent and responsible way to address the City's financial challenge."
    TREB also believes that City Council should ensure that the panel has a
suitable mandate.
    "Sometimes it's easier to find solutions with a fresh set of eyes. No
stone should be left unturned. The panel has to be allowed to truly consider
all options for savings. That includes alternative ways of delivering services
and prioritizing core municipal services," said O'Neill.
    For more information, visit www.NoHomeBuyingTax.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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