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April 12, 2016 – Councillor urges Premier and Mayors to consider imposing land transfer tax on Foreign home buyers

Toronto, ON – The Hon. Jim Karygiannis, Toronto City Councillor for Ward 39, Scarborough-Agincourt, is requesting that Premier Kathleen Wynne and Greater Toronto Area mayors recognize the urgency on imposing a foreign home buyers tax. As government leaders meet today to discuss housing affordability, a foreign home buyers tax must be put on the table as an immediate solution to cool the housing market. 

“The average sales price of a GTA home increased a whopping 33 percent year to year from March 2016 to March 2017. This rapid escalation in housing prices is dangerous for individuals and families struggling to own home. It is not limited to Toronto; Housing prices across southern Ontario have increased at least 20 to 30 percent in the same time period, including in cities such as Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo and Barrie,” said Councillor Karygiannis.

A special land transfer tax on foreign nationals, who are not Canadian permanent residents or Canadian Citizens, can stabilize soaring home sales prices while raising needed revenue. “In October of last year, I commissioned a poll by Mainstreet Research that showed 71 percent of decided respondents in the City of Toronto favoured a tax on foreign home buyers. The people have spoken clearly and they want action from their government,” said Karygiannis.

“In Ontario, we have waited far too long to address the overheated housing market and now all municipalities in southern Ontario are facing the same crisis. Some politicians are being led astray by the real estate sector who have their own agenda, but legislators must consider what diminished housing affordability does to society. I am urging Premier Kathleen Wynne and the GTA Mayor to listen to what the people and leading economists have said – impose a foreign home buyers tax immediately,” concluded Councillor Karygiannis.

 

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