Sunday, July 15, 2007

Toronto Star backs land transfer tax

A wrongheaded stance, in my view, but their right to be wrong, etc. What got my goat though was the reference to the property market last month:
The Toronto Real Estate Board is opposed to the tax, but it recently reported that June's sales volume was the highest ever for that month, with the average property selling for 5 per cent more this year compared to the first six months of 2006.
Well, yeah - it would when the tax hasn't come in yet, and I fully expect sales to be as brisk if not more so between here and the year's end - as long as closing dates precede 31.12.2007. A surge in consumption usually precedes the onset of a tax, and a decline in advance of a reduction. Don't try and book a moving truck this Christmas.

Toronto is providing at insufficient compensation things that are not its proper responsibility such as social welfare and does not have access to taxes directly linked to growth it creates. A Toronto success is really a federal and provincial success unless it can cause a property tax reassessment. Until the province stops doling out nickels and dimes and the right to tax in an inherently illogical fashion, our structural financial woes will not recede.
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