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Ontario government one step closer to allowing doubling of land transfer taxes

Date Posted: November 19, 2015

Some municipalities in Ontario have been asking the province to grant them the authority to charge a second (municipal) land transfer tax (LTT) on home buyers, similar to the tax imposed by the city of Toronto.

As a result of the municipal LTT, Toronto home buyers pay on average $12,000 in municipal and provincial LTTs, upfront, every time they move. For many people, this increased cost creates a barrier to home ownership.

The spread of municipal LTTs to other regions of Ontario threatens to increase the cost of home ownership province wide.

Current Status
Currently, the city of Toronto is the only municipality in Ontario that has the authority to levy the municipal LTT.

According to a recent CD Howe Institute study, the Toronto LTT resulted in a 16 percent drop in residential home sales volume. Moreover, higher transaction costs, owing to LTT, might force homeowners to tolerate living in ill-suited homes for longer than they would have otherwise.

A municipal land transfer tax is unfair to Ontario tax payers.
The tax is unfair because it forces a small segment of taxpayers to fund municipal services designed to benefit all citizens.

For example, in Toronto an average home buyer pays close to $12,000 in land transfer taxes, about half to the provincial government and half to the City of Toronto.

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