Finance

Ontario mulls non-resident speculation tax

Ontario mulls non-resident speculation tax

Late past year, Ontario announced it would double the rebate on its land transfer tax for first-time homebuyers to $4,000 in an effort to help them enter the housing market.

"Those who abuse the rules, you've got to throw the book at them", he said. Numerous measures Premier Wynne will announce this morning were also reported by CBC's Queens Park reporter Mike Crawley.

A 15 per cent tax on home purchases by non-resident foreigners.

Premier Kathleen Wynne said the new tax would not target immigrants, and a rebate would be available to foreigners who work in Ontario, those who subsequently get citizenship or permanent resident status and worldwide students.

Vancouver's empty homes tax is one per cent of the value of the property and it applies to homes that aren't being used as a principal residence or aren't rented out for at least six months of the year.

It would apply to all individuals who are not citizens or permanent residents of Canada and foreign corporations.

The government is also planning to expand the province's existing rent control system to cover all tenants, ending the exemption that now allows unlimited rent increases, it added. New rules would see all private rental units fall under annual rent increase guidelines. The issue was highlighted in a CBC Toronto series of stories called "No Fixed Address". The rent controls must come through approved legislation, but will take effect today, April 20.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) is calling on the province to stop plans to impose a new foreign buyers tax and rent control.

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Rent hikes on new buildings will be limited to 1.5 percent above the inflation rate, which was 2 percent in February.

- More flexibility for municipalities when it comes to using property tax tools to encourage development.

Tory said he has committed to streamlining and speeding up building approvals, in particular for new affordable rental housing and he is also looking at a vacant homes tax.

Neither of Ontario's opposition parties objected to any of the government's proposed measures.

The association says home sales over its Multiple Listings Service system increased by 1.1 per cent in March to top the previous monthly record set in April 2016. The news is no better in the Toronto rental market where some tenants are facing massive and sudden rent increases.

Speaking before the provincial announcements, leading agency, Royal LePage tells OPP.Today that whatever happens, all indications are that home prices will continue to rise this year.

The most recent possibility floated by the Ontario government is a "non-resident speculation tax", but the province hasn't yet said how exactly that tax would work. "That is not the aim".

"When young people can't afford their own apartment or can't imagine ever owning their own home, we know we have a problem", she said.


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