Editorial: Oakville Must Say No To Municipal Land Transfer Tax

Only 4% of all homes in Oakville are considered affordable.

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Editorial: Oakville Must Say No To Municipal Land Transfer Tax
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About the Author

Fraser Damoff

Fraser Damoff

Fraser Damoff is a long time resident of Oakville. He is also a highly skilled energy sector professional with a specialization in the Ontario Green Energy sector. With a keen focus on aboriginal energy project financing, Fraser has been involved in financing agreements with Ontario First Nations all over the Province. He is also a dedicated volunteer and community activist who has been involved with the Kerr Street Mission, the Terry Fox Run and the Oakville United Way.

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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.



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Readers Comments (2)

  1. John McLaughlin says:

    Town Council needs any “revenue” it can to cover overspending – and the Mayor didn’t rule out any new “revenue” (I.e. taxing) measures in the 2014 municipal elections.

    The real demon is the inability of this Town Council to act prudently with respect to the long term fiscal health of the Town and to manage sustainable budgets going forward – which its current and past budgets – are not examples of.

    In, 2006 budgetary spending was about $195 million – in 2016 budgetary spending is almost $400 million.

    By any metric, that’s a big city failure. The focus should be on budget reductions in line with inflation, not budgetary increases.

    The residents of Oakville will be unable to remain residents – if this pace of spending remains unabated.

  2. Jenni says:

    Thanks to the last Town election, I educated myself about the MLTT and learned that none of the current councillors want it, and even the Mayor said it would ‘not be an option for Oakville’. Yeah, no promises and i still can never afford my own home here…

    I also learned that anytime someone running for council had no issues of their own and needed a hollow boogeyman to scare the masses with… one that looked like it was important issue on the surface… they’d write an article on the Municipal Land Transfer Tax. So I’m guessing baby boy Damoff wants to wear mommy’s big girl pants.


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