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Toronto to tax luxury home sales, asks province for sales tax amid budget crunch

Toronto city council voted to bring in a new surtax on high-value home sales while asking the provincial government for sales tax revenue to help tackle a looming budget crunch.

Mayor Olivia Chow says despite several steps council took during Wednesday’s meeting, the city needs help from the province and federal government to address an estimated $46.5 billion dollars in budget pressures over the next decade.

City council voted Wednesday to ask the province to use its authority to bring in a municipal sales tax for Toronto, or to give the city a portion of its existing Harmonized Sales Tax.

The vote also saw council adopt the new graduated rate on the Municipal Land Transfer Tax for homes valued at $3 million and above and to lift a $5-per-hour cap for on-street parking.

It comes after council considered a major report penned by the city manager that says without new financial tools Toronto won’t be able to provide the services and investment essential to support growth.

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City staff were also directed to report back to council ahead of 2024 budget talks about several other possible revenue tools, including a tax on non-residential parking spaces and on foreign home buyers.

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