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