This week, Premier Kathleen Wynne announced the appointment of a new advisory panel to review Metrolinx’s Investment Strategy. The panel will be chaired by Dr. Anne Golden and consist of 13 members. They will look at the recommendations submitted in the Metrolinx report, consult with stakeholders and residents, and consider other funding options.
In May, Metrolinx submitted its final report, “Investing in Our Region, Investing in Our Future” to the Government of Ontario. The report sought to raise $2 billion annually to fund transit in the GTHA by implementing four revenue tools: a business tax levy, a one percent HST increase, a fuel and gas tax, and an increase to development charges. Fortunately for the real estate industry and homeowners in the province, the report excluded a Municipal Land Transfer Tax (MLTT) as a revenue tool for the project.
The Ontario Real Estate Association has been vocal against the implementation of a second land transfer tax. Currently, the City of Toronto is the only municipality in Ontario with the authority to levy a land transfer tax at the municipal level. Since its implementation, the MLTT has remained unpopular with residents. In addition, according to a C.D. Howe Institute report, the Toronto MLTT had dampened sales in the city by 16 per cent since it came into force.
OREA will continue to monitor the new advisory panel and make recommendations against a new land transfer tax across the province.