The Ontario government is considering a tax on non-resident speculators as it looks for ways to cool the hot housing market in the Greater Toronto Area.
Home prices in the Toronto area climbed 6.2 percent last month, the biggest one-month gain on record, according to a benchmark price index by the Canadian Real Estate Association, and are up nearly 30 percent over the past 12 months.
The Northern Ontario Party says a robust economy is a major reason for Toronto's housing shortage. My caveat is you want to have lots of exemptions.
Sales in Vancouver cooled previous year in the wake of a tax on foreign buyers.
That way, foreigners coming to Ontario in order to work aren't penalized, he said.
Sources indicate the tax will be credited back under certain circumstances. Seniors who had paid into the Canada Pension Plan for five to 10 working years would be exempt.
Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa signalled that he will unveil his housing plan before the provincial budget, set to be delivered on April 27.
The trio agreed to do a better job of collecting data on the marketplace and Ontario followed through Wednesday with revised rules that will force buyers to indicate if they are non-resident of Canada.
Like many others, Altbaum is calling for either a foreign buyers tax - like the one imposed in Vancouver in August - or a change to capital gains taxes to discourage investors from flipping properties.
"I don't have a problem with the tax but really my question is it's going to be very hard to determine what is a vacant home".
According to Gordon, another way of taxing speculation is to tax real estate sales when the seller has only owned the property for a short amount of time, with the highest rates for those who've owned the home less than six months.
The information is being collected through the land transfer tax system.
Davidoff says the government needs to try and make life in cities more affordable, and that's partly done by creating more housing options as well as by reforming taxes. The fear has been that applying the tax to one area would push foreign buyers just beyond the border - a scenario opponents says happened in Victoria where prices were up about 20 per cent year over year in March. Housing constructed or occupied after November 1, 1991 has an exemption which allows landlords to demand any rent they want, once a lease is up. Housing Minister Chris Ballard promised to take steps to strengthen rent control in the wake of the CBC Toronto series No Fixed Address, which highlighted massive rent increases faced by tenants in newer buildings.
Owners of pre-1991 buildings in Ontario can not raise the rent on an existing tenant by more than an amount set by the province annually, based on the rate of inflation.