TORONTO, ON: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) is calling on the province to stop plans to impose a new foreign buyers tax and rent control. The Ontario government is planning impose a 15% tax on homes purchased by foreigner buyers and will impose rent controls, while provincial regulations and the real causes of housing shortages that drive up prices.
“When Minister Charles Sousa and Premier Kathleen Wynne talk about the causes of housing unaffordability, they need to look in the mirror,” said CTF Ontario Director, Christine Van Geyn. “The biggest problem is a shortage of homes, and that’s because of the government’s vision for a high density Ontario and its desire to use taxes and regulations to squeeze as much money out of sales and development as it can. Those taxes and fees, especially Toronto’s double land transfer tax, have added huge unnecessary costs.”
The Ontario government unveiled its plan to implement a 15% tax on foreign home buyers and impose rent controls in an announcement on Apr. 20.
A report by CIBC took aim at the 2006 Places to Grow Act as instrumental in restricting housing supply. The act introduced policies to increase intensification and density in new housing development. And the Ontario Home Builders’ Association found that when total government costs are all factored into the price of a new home, they add up to over $100,000 in Toronto, $82,000 in Simcoe County, and $92,000 in Durham Region.
“Taxing foreign home buyers is a way for the government to score cheap political points with GTA voters, and bring in more money for their own coffers, but it won’t solve the problem,” continued Van Geyn.
The government is also planning on extending rent control to all private rental units, including those built after 1991.
“History has shown us that rent control leads to slums. When landlords can’t earn market rates on their units, they stop maintaining their property and tenants and communities all suffer for it. It looks like Wynne’s plan to ‘solve’ the housing crisis is going to work about as well as her plan to ‘solve’ the electricity crisis. It’s just going to make things worse for everyone,” concluded Van Geyn.
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