LACKIE: proposed surtax on homes over $ 1m is ridiculous

With most houses now selling more of this brand, it wouldn’t be an occasional tax on the rich

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So much for the new year, new me.

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It took me less than a week in 2022 to discover I needed to dig deep and fight the unwanted urge to bang my head against my keyboard while reading the latest proposal to address the affordability crisis. housing in Canada.

Maybe you missed it, lost in the deluge of media coverage of the absolute barn burner that was the 2021 Canadian real estate market is a new report from British Columbia proposing a surtax on more homes. of $ 1 million.

Posted by Generation Squeeze, a Vancouver-based non-profit organization funded by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s National Housing Strategy Solutions Lab Program, comes the report that describes a number of measures to improve housing affordability, including the idea that adding a tax on houses over $ 1 million would help make housing more accessible.

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Suggesting that $ 5.83 billion that could be generated by the tax could then be reinvested in co-op housing, missing mid-size housing and specially designed rentals and would help open up access is at the heart of the thinking.

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With the exception of course of the fact that the government is allocating and has already allocated funds for just that, but here we are, with housing unaffordable in Canada, the worst it has been in 31 years.

This is not a new idea – the idea of ​​adding a “luxury tax” to housing at the top of the market has been around for years; just last winter, Toronto city council discussed it.

Except here’s the problem (and probably why he was a non-runner on council last year): With the average sale price now north of the $ 1m mark, it’s far from a tax. on luxury homes, unless of course we now consider a stacked townhouse in Liberty Village a luxury home.

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It’s just another tax on homeowners.

Once one could conclude, the logic here is that anyone who can afford a home in this wild real estate market can afford to be even more stuck.

It’s ridiculous.

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It would not be an occasional tax on the rich. You know, the kind of tax that usually crosses the finish line assuming that for the rich it’s just intellectual and they should just swallow the bitter pill of “paying their fair share.”

No, this tax will affect virtually all homeowners equally. Families who have already had to go out of their way to buy a home in the GTA in order to stay close to work or family or the vibrancy of city life. The aging baby boomers that Twitter pundits love to disparage who have their net worth tied to the real estate they’ve invested in fairly.

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What it does is continue to pit those who own a home against those who don’t, as if the current catastrophic situation is somehow the fault of homeowners who unknowingly timed the market. real estate versus government failure which did nothing to curb this.

Do you want to solve the housing crisis? We need more.

As long as Canada lags behind all other G7 countries on housing while setting bold immigration targets, it will be entirely up to the government to come up with concrete policy solutions to address our structural deficiency before asking. homeowners, who already have heavy mortgages as a result of their inaction, to contribute more.


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