Mar 31, 2017

By Christine Ross

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The city is considering a housing tax on vacant buildings in Toronto. Mayor John Tory is asking staff to investigate the impact of the tax as a way of cooling the red-hot housing market. At a meeting Thursday, experts in real estate, banking and business, agreed that lack of supply is the big reason behind for skyrocketing prices. John Tory says there are as many as 65,000 empty properties in Toronto. The price of an average detached home in the city has climbed to 1.5 million dollars. A tax is already in place in Vancouver where owners of homes deemed empty must pay an annual tax of one per cent of the property’s assessed value. The tax idea would likely require provincial intervention but the province’s intervention but Ontario’s Finance Minister seems receptive to the idea saying owners of empty buildings should be paying their fair share.

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