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Nobel-winner urges property tax hike

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Real Estate Professional | 25 Nov 2015, 08:15 AM Agree 0
Soaring housing prices are causing growing inequality. To combat that, one economist is urging a property tax hike for the wealthy in this country
  • Rick P. | 25 Nov 2015, 11:06 AM Agree 0
    The cause of inequality are not people who have accumulated wealth, the problem is lack of financial education, taxing people with a high financial IQ will not make a difference, they are smart enough to find tax loopholes.
  • Rick | 25 Nov 2015, 11:44 AM Agree 0
    Inequality of input should also be addressed. Some work hard and work longer hours to get ahead, some like to shy away from work, some like to abuse the system and some take risks to get ahead. I agree that foreigners who buy up real estate should be heavily taxed.
  • Lorraine Stundon | 25 Nov 2015, 01:10 PM Agree 0
    Canadian citizens are under a very heavy Property Tax burden already, note Canadian citizen. If you are an off shore buyer then there should be another level of taxation. The federal government has not helped our local governments with the cost of running municipalities.
    Here in B.C there is a Property Transfer Tax on all sale, one minor exception for a first time buyer and I feel the B.C government should be sharing a portion of that with local governments.
  • Flec | 25 Nov 2015, 01:51 PM Agree 0
    Time is not a friend to the average Canadian living in the few hot markets plagued with over inflated housing prices. Given enough time, housing prices will look after themselves. People may need to start making tough choices. Perhaps relocating would be a better choice than trying to get ahead in locations that are price prohibitive. Government should be careful about interfering. Every action has a reaction. Every city, or town’s property values need to be affordable to the people that live and work there. A price correction will happen, it’s just a matter of when. Leave it alone,, it will look after it's self.

  • Mike | 25 Nov 2015, 02:53 PM Agree 0
    No, it actually won't look after itself. There are 4 million millionaires in China and that number is growing fast and so will the number of them looking to park money in a nice safe place like Canada. Even a 10-20% correction will mean nothing to them. There is no way our housing supply in major cities will stay anywhere close to even with that potential level of demand. You grow up here, work hard here, save up and you still will not be able to afford a home here because you were born too late and you are competing against buyers that can completely outspend you. When a 1950's single-family home on a 50' is selling for $500,000, only to be torn down, there is something very wrong with the system.
  • | 25 Nov 2015, 03:43 PM Agree 0
    what about all the Canadians that worked moved packed moved again to get to there dream home??? Now some socialist wants to tax
    them out of them I can not believe that, to take away that so many people worked so hard for. a lot of the higher end real state is the
    older home in the right area and seniors are living out there lives in the home that they slaved for so now let's equal it for the new
    wise guy that feels he has the right to tax them so high that they have to leave it to him and his socialist brothers save our free enterprise
    and the ambition to do the same in this ( we have to have it all) generation.
  • Father, Son, Husband, Landlord, hard worker | 25 Nov 2015, 11:45 PM Agree 0
    In my opinion, one of the problems lies with free trade, too many good paying jobs went overseas making many people in other countries very wealthy, the younger generation has little hope of being able to afford a home today.

    Jobs outside of large cities are hard to come by, when they do find a job it is usually part time or contract work and our government is doing the same thing, contract after contract, how is that supposed to make someone feel secure, what about a pension?

    I find many of the younger generation feel entitled (not everyone) but many (my son included), they don't want to anything more than they have to and find great satisfaction sitting around playing video games. I have worked since I was 8 years old, paper route, pumping gas, cleaned toilets, flipped hamburgers and while you get the picture.

    I dropped out of school in grade 10 (went back after many years to complete high school then on to college) I was on public assistance (for a month) between jobs but I had pride and took what I could get in the way of work. You get a head from working hard, not hardly working.

    Today I own 3 properties, have a sports car and go to Florida for several weeks in the winter, why... because I work hard for everything I have, many long hours, evenings, weekends and pretty much whenever I am needed.

    I have paid taxes all my life (now in my 50's), I am so tired of taxes, everything we buy we are taxed to death... we don't need any more taxes, especially for property. Maybe a foreign buyer should pay a higher land transfer tax but that would be it. There should not be a Municipal Land Transfer Tax on top of the present LTT, it will hurt local economies and delay home ownership.

    Where I believe we should be looking at tax revenue is lottery winnings, we are not taxed on winnings here in Canada, why not? Wouldn't you be happy with say $800,000.00 after winning $1,000,000.00, I know I would be!

    On another note... people want everything now, the newest, biggest, best... Well I believe that you should live within your means... don't own a home? Why are you buying a brand new car? I can well afford a new car but I choose to purchase a car that is only 1-2 years old... My wife and I just purchased a vehicle each, both 1 year old, less than 20,000 KM and saved over $10,000.00 per vehicle, let someone else pay for depreciation.

    There are numerous homes on the market that require updating... why pay for someone else to do the updating and pay thousands if not $100,000.00 or more? You are not handy you say? well I wasn't either but I sure learned how and with each reno I learn a bit more, now I do everything from electrical to plumbing, tile laying and much more, I have saved thousands over the years and increased my property value significantly; look on you tube or call a friend.

    I am a landlord and have to go in after my tenant (s) have destroyed a place, completely turn it around for the next dumb ass who doesn't have respect for what is not theirs but I will win in the long run, because I have work ethic,

    Long rant I know but tell me what you think...

  • John | 26 Nov 2015, 06:41 AM Agree 0

    Your work ethic is admirable but I think the fundamental flaw in your "rant" (your word) is that you seem to be assuming that other people aren't working just as hard. Free trade and globalization have certainly wrecked havoc on the quality of jobs available in Canada and that Pandora's Box is likely to remain open. The big problem is that companies have taken advantage of the situation by sending jobs overseas while at the same time expecting to be able to sell their products here in North Americia. Add that to the fact that labour unions have been demonized by both government and the right wing press in Canada and you have a situation that causes desperation in the labour force. There really is only one way to equalize or rather bring the extremes of wealth back into a reasonable range and that is through higher taxation. People who make the most money in our society generally tend to make use of our resources more than poorer people. The rely on our police and justice system to protect their wealth, they send their goods to market via our highways, they use our health care system to lure foreign workers to Canada and they hire our university graduates. Wealthier people should indeed pay more in taxes than those making less money. That is the fundamental reason for a progressive tax system which, unfortunately, has been eroded in North America for the past two decades.
  • conservative | 27 Nov 2015, 01:32 PM Agree 0
    Good Rant...we pay too much taxes yes
  • Bob Edwards | 27 Nov 2015, 04:57 PM Agree 0
    He said..."If someone owns a $50,000,000.apartment it should be heavily taxed." What an idiot. Who lives in the the apartment units? Lower income people live there. Maybe he and other socialists don't realize that taxes are an expense. If property taxes go up landlords will have to raise rents to offset the expense. If an investor or a group of investors cannot get a fair rate of return they will build less apartments. If govt's make it less attractive to build more apartments rents will only rise on the existing inventory. Currently we already have way too many taxes on housing. Not just property tax but property transfer taxes, development cost charges, permits, etc, etc that all have to be passed on. Government's restricting the availability of developable land because of their policies raises the cost of homes. The time it takes to get a property approved through the various levels of govt's is just form of tax and another cost that has to be passed on. I have a client that has been trying to get his property approved for about 100 single family homes for 45 years. This land is not in the agricultural reserve either. They seem more concerned about 1 frog they found and the concerns of the bicyclers that have been trespassing on his property for years without permission. We need less government bureaucracies and less taxes.
  • Harold V | 29 Nov 2015, 02:57 PM Agree 0
    Yeah, those foreigners again eh? Let's take their money and kick them back out of the country. We dislike them, right? Not their money.
  • Chris | 02 Dec 2015, 12:23 PM Agree 0
    There is no loophole or escape from property taxes and nobody even with highest financial IQ can get away from it.
    If you don't pay property taxes municipality will put a tax lien on your property and can force a tax sale of property.
    It is simple and effective way to reduce the value of multi-milion dollar properties and stop foreigners from snapping them in frenzy.
  • Bill | 02 Dec 2015, 01:36 PM Agree 0
    I agree with Lorraine Stundon. If you file your principal income tax return in Canada, then your property is taxed at one rate. If you file it outside Canada, you should pay another. In the Victoria market I have noticed some of these vacant homes coming back on market. These were investments and should be taxed as such. Too often the owner shows as "student" or "housewife" when the real principal is an offshore investor hoping to make a tax free gain while parking their money at the expense of locals. All the while the home often sits vacant!
  • Dave H | 03 Dec 2015, 07:21 PM Agree 0
    The problem is foreign real estate investors are not paying capital gains taxes. Tax all real estate gains except for the personal residence exemption for citizens and the problem would disappear.
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