Earlier this summer, the Government of Ontario announced their review of three key pieces of municipal legislation: the Municipal Act 2001, the City of Toronto Act 2006, and the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act 1990.
In the Municipal Legislation Review Public Consultation Guide the government identifies three themes to their review: accountability and transparency, municipal financial sustainability, and responsive and flexible municipal government.
The Municipal Act outlines municipal roles, responsibilities and powers (including revenue generation). Currently, municipalities primarily collect their revenue from property taxes and user fees. Under the City of Toronto Act, Toronto is the only municipality in Ontario with the power to levy an MLTT. Some municipalities in Ontario, and organizations such as the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and the Large Urban Mayors Caucus of Ontario, have been lobbying the province for new revenue tools. If municipalities are granted new revenue generating powers, similar to those given to the City of Toronto, municipalities across the province could implement a municipal land transfer tax (MLTT).
OREA has been a strong opponent of the MLTT both in Toronto and across Ontario. Ontario REALTORS® understand that extending the power to levy an MLTT to Ontario’s municipalities would hurt the housing market by adding thousands of dollars to the cost of residential transactions. Research has shown that this tax stifles the local housing market and hurts local jobs.