29 Nov When will Toronto impose a Vacant Home Tax?
Will Toronto be imposing a Vacant Home Tax, similar to the recently imposed tax in Vancouver? We won’t know until March 2018, at the earliest:
In May 2017, the City of Toronto was given the authority to impose a tax on vacant homes, through the Ontario Fair Housing Plan. Subsequently, the City’s Executive Committee instructed City staff to conduct consultations and to bring forward recommendations on how to implement this tax. The Toronto Real Estate Board has been working diligently on this issue to stress that policies targeted at the housing market should be evidence based, and to point out numerous concerns with this proposal. TREB’s efforts included meetings with senior staff in the Mayor’s Office and key staff in the City’s Finance Department. City staff had been planning to bring forward recommendations at the end of November
Update: TREB has been informed by City staff that they will not be bringing forward any recommendations until at least March 2018. TREB is encouraged that City staff appear to be taking an approach consistent with what TREB has been calling for, specifically to proceed cautiously on an evidence-based course.
TREB continues to feel strongly that policy measures targeted at the housing market must be evidence based. In this regard, we have raised various issues with proposals for a tax on vacant homes in Toronto. We applaud the City for conducting public consultations on this issue, and we understand that City staff are continuing to conduct research on this issue and are not planning to report back to the City’s Executive Committee until March 2018. We are happy to see that the City is taking a thoughtful and careful approach on this issue.