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Regional Spotlight: Toronto Realtors Launch New Site, Allowing Public to Calculate Home Buying Tax

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RISMEDIA, July 6, 2007—Toronto’s REALTORS® have launched a Web site (www.nohomebuyingtax.com) to help the public calculate what the proposed Toronto land transfer tax will cost them and to easily allow the public to let Mayor Miller and City councillors know what they think.

“As REALTORS®, it’s our job to give information to the public. As soon as we tell them about the City’s proposal to charge a second land transfer tax they ask us what it will cost them and what they can do to stop this bad idea. Our new Web site shows them the exact cost of the tax and allows them to easily e-mail the Mayor and City Councillors,” said Donald Bentley, President of the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB).

The www.nohomebuyingtax.com site includes an easy-to-use calculator that tells the user exactly how much land transfer tax they now owe the province and what they will owe the City. In addition, it includes quick facts and easy options for the public to take action.
Even prior to launching the Web site, Toronto’s REALTORS® have been communicating with the public to inform them of the City’s proposal. The public is very opposed to this tax and their reaction has been overwhelming.

“We are aware of over 1,000 e-mails that have been sent to Mayor Miller and all City Councillors, and most of those have come from the public in just the last week, after the City’s Executive Committee decided to push forward with this misguided idea. The public is speaking; hopefully, City Hall won’t ignore them,” said Bentley.

The e-mails that have already been sent make it clear that the public believes that the City is headed in the wrong direction.

“Nobody likes taxes, but the public has been adamant that a second land transfer tax is not the right approach to addressing the City’s fiscal challenges because it could make the dream of homeownership more difficult to achieve for home buyers, while impacting
property values for some current homeowners. Generally, the public believes that this tax is unfair, that the City hasn’t justified it, and that the City should first focus on getting its own house in order,” Bentley added. TREB notes that concern is being expressed by both people looking to buy a home and those who already own a home.

“Even though this tax will be paid by home buyers, current homeowners understand that it could make their properties less marketable compared to homes in other municipalities where there is only one land transfer tax. This could hurt their property’s value, which
would impact seniors the most because many of them rely on their property’s value to help with their retirement”, said Bentley.

TREB points out that the public has also indicated that, instead of focusing on new taxes, the City should continue to make fairer funding from the senior levels of government a priority.

“Realtors support a fair deal for Toronto, but City Council is putting the cart before the horse. Charging new taxes will simply let the senior governments off the hook”, said Bentley.

TREB plans to continue opposing the implementation of a second land transfer tax.
Make the Right Move.

For more information, visit www.TorontoRealEstateBoard.com.

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