Plante seeks power to levy for­eign buy­ers’ tax on real es­tate deals

Montreal Gazette - - CITY - JA­COB SEREBRIN jsere­brin@post­media.com

Valérie Plante said she will ask the provin­cial gov­ern­ment for the power to levy a tax on res­i­den­tial real es­tate pur­chases by for­eign buy­ers.

The mayor-elect wants the city to be able to im­pose a for­eign buy­ers’ tax in case the hous­ing mar­ket over­heats, Plante said on Tues­day.

She said she spoke with the may­ors of Van­cou­ver and Toronto — where taxes on for­eign buy­ers are in place — who told her they would have liked to act sooner to deal with rapidly ris­ing hous­ing prices in those ci­ties.

Plante said she wants the abil­ity to act rapidly here, to have the power in her pocket just in case.

Cur­rently, if Mon­treal wanted to im­pose a tax on non-res­i­dents pur­chas­ing prop­erty, it would have to seek per­mis­sion from the provin­cial gov­ern­ment.

That might take too long if the city waits for the mar­ket to be­come prob­lem­atic be­fore act­ing, Plante said.

“Maybe we won’t use it,” Plante said. “We want to pro­tect so­cial, eco­nomic and cul­tural di­ver­sity and that starts with hous­ing.”

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