A roundup of opinions about a Toronto 15% foreign tax

major-workplace-question-splits-opinionA number of industry stakeholders have had their say – including our own readers.

It seems a tax on foreign buyers in Toronto is imminent, following the influence of Vancouver’s own that went into effect last month. A number of industry players have already weighed in and so can you.

For the tax
Joe Oliver, former Minister of Finance

In a commentary written for the Financial Post last week, the man formerly tasked with presenting the country’s budget and overseeing the Bank of Canada came out in favour of taxing foreign buyers in Toronto.

He cites, among others, the influence B.C.’s task will have on foreigners who will instead choose to park their money in Canada’s largest city.

“Foreign, especially Chinese, buying is often motivated by finding a safe place to hedge against geopolitical risk. Political tension in China has elevated that perceived risk, resulting in capital flight,” Oliver wrote. “The obvious implication of the B.C. tax is that high-end foreign buyers, attracted to Canada’s stable political environment, will gravitate to the GTA where housing is substantially less expensive than in Vancouver.”

Against the tax
Ontario’s real estate groups

Both the Toronto Real Estate Board and the Ontario Real Estate Association have argued the negatives.

Heads of both those institutions have sent letters to Ontario’s Finance Minister Charles Sousa and Toronto Mayor John Tory, according to the Globe and Mail, decrying a potential Toronto tax.

“Increasing taxes on foreign home buyers is a knee-jerk reaction to a problem which we do not fully understand, will do little to address the growing affordability challenges facing many Ontarians and may have negative consequences for our broader economy,” Larry Cerqua of TREB and Ray Ferris of the OREA wrote in their letter to Mr. Sousa, per the Globe.

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