Toronto Life - The Informer

Insider intel on the politics and personalities shaping the city. Sign up for Preview newsletter for weekly updates



Rob Ford returns to his old nemesis: the land transfer tax

(Image: Christopher Drost)

Sounding like he was re-using his 2010 election campaign notes, Rob Ford told the Toronto Real Estate Board on Friday that he’d aim to kill the “terrible” land transfer tax this term—potentially a tough sell in council, considering that the tax should bring in $336 million this year (plus an extra $15 million from the historic sale of Scotia Plaza) and netted the city more revenue than expected last year. The Globe and Mail did some counting and estimates a 25 per cent cut in the tax—which is what Ford wants to start with—would reduce the city’s revenues by more than $82 million. Even Mike Del Grande, the chair of the city’s budget committee, has been reluctant to scrap the cash cow tax, saying the city can’t afford it unless the process is stretched over the next 20 years. However, Ford maintains the city could make up for the loss of money by (all together now!) cutting the waste at city hall. Someone please give the man a new sound bite that doesn’t involve gravy. [Globe and Mail]