Sunday, November 22, 2015 10:00 am ·  2 Comments
As every Oakville resident knows, we are very lucky to live in such a wonderful town. We have incredible green space, active and engaged citizens, lots of community events and places to shop, dine and explore, as well as a diligent Town Council that has worked to keep Oakville Property Taxes tied to inflation.
However, the recent announcement that Municipalities across the Province might be given the power to impose a Municipal Land Transfer Tax (on top of the existing Provincial Land Transfer Tax) concerns me. While I am a strong advocate for increased local decision making and more power being passed down to the Municipalities from the Province, I do hope that Oakville Town Council has the foresight to refrain from imposing a new Land Transfer Tax on current and future home buyers.
Oakville housing prices are already some of the highest in the country. For many young people who grew up in Oakville, the only option is to move to other cities or towns where homes are more affordable. As recently noted in the Oakville Community Foundation Vital Signs Report, only 4% of all homes in Oakville are considered affordable. Compare that to 54% in Burlington, and we can begin to see the problem facing residents of Oakville. While Oakville housing prices skyrocket, Oakville’s next generation is forced out of the town they grew up in, because it is unaffordable to live in. The exodus of youth from Oakville has implications on the rejuvenation of our communities, on our neighbourhoods and schools, and significantly effects our goal for a balanced, vibrant Town.
Proposing a new land transfer tax on top of the existing Provincial land transfer tax would put homeownership even farther out of reach for young people looking to buy a home, even with the rebate offered by the Province for first time home buyers.
Mayor Burton and Council, on behalf of my neighbours and friends I ask you to please consider the damage a Municipal Land Transfer Tax could have on our town and bring forward a motion that pro-actively states that Oakville will not introduce a Municipal Land Transfer Tax.