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July 6, 2021

Toronto Should Cut, Not Hike, Land Transfer Tax 

  • Toronto City Council should reduce rather than increase the land transfer tax (LTT) on high-end homes.
  • Authors Benjamin Dachis, Bev Dahlby and Jack Mintz find any move to increase the tax would have a high economic cost because the LTT discourages people from moving to more favourable locations or housing when they can do so.
  • When combined with the provincial LTT, the authors find that the current combined rate of 5 percent on homes in excess of $2 million is highly distortionary and is close to the rate that maximizes total LTT revenues for the city and province combined. Any further increase in the top LTT rate by Toronto, while increasing its own revenues, would reduce the government of Ontario’s LTT revenues by more than Toronto’s.
Benjamin Dachis

Benjamin Dachis is a Senior Fellow at the C.D. Howe Institute and Vice President of Research and Outreach at Clean Prosperity. Previously, he served as Associate Vice President, Public Affairs at the C.D.

Bev Dahlby

Bev Dahlby is a member of the Fiscal and Tax Competitiveness Policy Council and a Fellow-in-Residence at the C.D. Howe Institute. He is also a Research Fellow at the School of Public Policy, University of Calgary.

Jack Mintz

Dr. Jack M. Mintz is a Senior Fellow of the C.D. Howe Institute. He is also the President’s Fellow of the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary, after serving as the Palmer Chair and founding Director from January 1, 2008 to June 30, 2015.