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Monday, May 13, 2013

TREB: Ford needs to follow through on election promise

Within the next few weeks, my presidential term with the Toronto Real Estate Board concludes. While this occasion certainly presents an opportunity for a time of reflection, it is more important to keep looking forward and to keep the spotlight shining on key issues such as the Toronto Land Transfer Tax. Realtors and the public continue to look forward to the fulfillment of the election commitment by Mayor Rob Ford and numerous city councillors to repeal the tax. It is clear that the public expects the mayor to move forward with the commitment and it is unlikely that they will forget about this. This is a significant tax: it costs the average Toronto homebuyer almost $6,500 and, when added to the Provincial Land Transfer Tax, average Toronto homebuyers face almost $14,000 in land transfer taxes. Realtors look forward to working with the mayor and city council on a reasonable approach to deliver on this promise. TREB has consistently opposed the tax as an unfair levy that hurts Toronto’s economy. TREB strongly believes that the commitment by Ford during and after the election campaign to repeal the tax was, and is, sensible. Recently, the city’s budget chief has pointed out the budgetary challenges facing the city. Realtors believe that city council is moving in the right direction by conducting a comprehensive review of city services; we also strongly believe that the commitment to repeal the Toronto Land Transfer Tax can, and should, move forward. A recent public opinion poll conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs for TREB found that 75 per cent of Torontonians support Ford’s commitment to repeal the tax. In light of the budget chief’s recent comments, the poll contained interesting results. In particular, even when asked to consider the city’s expected budget shortfall, the public’s support for the repeal of the tax remains very strong, with 68 per cent of Torontonians believing that the mayor should follow through on this commitment, despite the vity’s budget challenges. The poll also found that the public is paying attention to this issue: 61 per cent of respondents were aware that Ford has committed to repeal the tax. We have an obligation to protect the affordability of home ownership for future generations. From job creation to providing a healthy and stable environment for raising a family, home ownership matters to people, communities and Ontario. Toronto Condos

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