- Ontario’s provincial government is raising the tax on foreign homebuyers ahead of an election campaign in which affordability is expected to be a major issue.
- Ontario’s non-resident home buyer tax was first implemented in 2017 under the leadership of former premier Kathleen Wynne.
- The Ontario government has not released data on how many people and businesses have paid the non-resident speculation tax since 2020.
The provincial government of Ontario is raising the tax on foreign homebuyers ahead of a provincial election campaign in which affordability is expected to be a major issue.
In a news release issued Tuesday afternoon, the province confirmed that it would raise its non-resident speculation tax from 15% to 20% as of tomorrow.
It also stated that the tax would now be imposed across the province. It only applied to properties purchased in the Greater Golden Horseshoe Region previously.
The changes come three months after BNN Bloomberg reported that the province was considering raising the tax if the federal government failed to follow through on a campaign promise to crack down on foreign buying activity.
“Young families, seniors, and workers are all desperate for suitable housing. “However, a lack of supply, as well as rising costs, have put the dream of homeownership out of reach for far too many families in the province,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, the province’s finance minister. “That is why our government has enacted the country’s most comprehensive non-resident speculation tax.” Our government is working to boost supply and keep prices low for Ontario families and homebuyers, not for foreign speculators looking to make a quick buck.”
Under the leadership of former premier Kathleen Wynne, Ontario’s non-resident home buyer tax was first implemented in 2017.
According to industry observers, it appeared to slow the rate of increase in home prices at first, but in recent years, home values in the GTA have soared due to a supply shortage.
The average price in the Greater Toronto Area topped $1.3 million in February, up 28% from the previous year.
In a statement, the Ontario government said that raising the tax is also eliminating rebates for international students and foreign nationals working in the province.
It states that foreign nationals studying and working in Ontario will continue to be eligible for a rebate if they become permanent residents of Canada.
Since 2020, the Ontario govt has not released data on the number of people and businesses who have paid the non-resident speculation tax.
In a message shared on Twitter on Tuesday, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath expressed her delight at the news that the tax would be raised while also taking credit for it.
“I’m glad to see Mr. Ford is following my Housing Plan’s footsteps, which I released in August 2021! “Doug, check out the sections on real rent controls, ending homelessness, and increasing the supply of homes that people can afford,” she advised.
Source: CTV news
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