TREB President’s Column as it appears every Friday in the Toronto Sun’s Resale Homes and Condos section.
Torontonians To Get Things Right

August 24, 2012 — Most of us agree that Toronto’s greatest strength is the people who choose to make this City their home. We can’t make Toronto a world class City by pushing people away, but that’s exactly what the Toronto Land Transfer Tax is doing. This concerns us, and it is why we launched a new web site Together, we can build a great city, but we need to get this right.

A poll conducted by Ipsos Reid, found that 25 percent of Torontonians expecting to move in the next two years are planning to leave Toronto for the 905 regions. In contrast, only three percent of 905 residents expecting to move in the next two years are planning to come to Toronto.

Looking at the cause of this trend, the poll also found important links to the Toronto Land Transfer Tax, with 75% of people in Toronto and the 905 regions who are expecting to move in the next two years saying that they are more likely to move outside of Toronto specifically because of the Toronto Land Transfer Tax. Among the other findings of the poll were:

66% of Torontonians support plans to repeal the Toronto Land Transfer Tax;
77% of Torontonians who recently purchased a home in Toronto feel that they received little or no added value in City services for the amount of Land Transfer Tax paid;
A third of first-time buyers indicated that they had to pay some Land Transfer Tax to the City, notwithstanding City rebates.
The Toronto Land Transfer Tax is no way to build a great City. It creates inequality among our residents; it perpetuates irresponsible City budgeting; it threatens jobs; it makes our City less affordable; it makes City Hall less accountable; it hurts our environment; and it makes our roads even busier. Tell City Council that you want the Toronto Land Transfer Tax repealed.

We are committed and willing to do what it takes to ensure that City Council hears the public’s voice on this issue.

The website provides information and gives the public numerous ways to have their say. The web site allows the public to easily send in their views directly to their City Councillor, become more informed on this issue, and encourage others to speak out also.

We launched this campaign for one simple reason: we want Toronto to succeed.

Putting our voices together, we can build a great City and it’s important, for all of us, that we get this right. We understand the importance of quality services to building a great city, but we believe that those services should be funded fairly and reliably.

So I encourage you to check out the website, become more informed and have your say!

Ann Hannah is President of the Toronto Real Estate Board, a professional association that represents 34,000 REALTORS® in the Greater Toronto Area.
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