Item - 2021.EX25.3

Tracking Status

  • City Council adopted this item on July 14, 2021 with amendments.
  • This item was considered by the Executive Committee on July 6, 2021 and adopted without amendment. It will be considered by City Council on July 14, 2021.

EX25.3 - Recommended Tax Design and Steps to Implement a Vacant Home Tax in Toronto

Decision Type:
ACTION
Status:
Amended
Wards:
All

City Council Decision

City Council on July 14, 15 and 16, 2021, adopted the following:

 

1. City Council approve in principle the proposed tax design features in Attachment 1 to the report (June 21, 2021) from the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer and the Executive Director, Housing Secretariat.

 

2. City Council direct the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer and the Executive Director, Housing Secretariat to:

 

a. undertake public consultation and receive written comments from all stakeholders on the proposed tax design; and

 

b. report back during the fourth quarter of 2021 with the findings from consultations and any modifications to a finalized tax design and an enabling tax by-law for City Council's consideration for implementation on January 1, 2022.

 

3. City Council direct the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer and the Executive Director, Housing Secretariat to include in the report back in the fourth quarter of 2021 the findings from consultations, proposed operational procedures and policies for the administration and enforcement of the Vacant Home Tax program to ensure compliance with the applicable requirements of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

 

4. City Council direct the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer and the Executive Director, Housing Secretariat to report back to the Executive Committee by the end of the fourth quarter of 2021 on any additional tools available to the City of Toronto, such as a speculation tax, including those used in other major jurisdictions, to discourage the treatment of housing as a commodity.

 

5. City Council direct the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer and the Executive Director, Housing Secretariat to report back to City Council, through the Executive Committee, by the end of 2023 with an update on the implementation of the Vacant Home Tax in Toronto, learnings from other jurisdictions that have implemented a similar tax and recommendations for any required changes to the Toronto Vacant Home Tax program, including any potential increase to the tax rate.

Background Information (Committee)

(June 21, 2021) Report from the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer and the Executive Director Housing Secretariat on Recommended Tax Design and Steps to Implement a Vacant Home Tax in Toronto
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2021/ex/bgrd/backgroundfile-168674.pdf

Communications (Committee)

(December 18, 2020) Letter from J. Campbell (EX.Main)
(July 5, 2021) Letter from Mauro Ritacca submitted a letter from Kevin Crigger, President, Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (EX.New)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2021/ex/comm/communicationfile-134387.pdf
(July 5, 2021) E-mail from Harold B. Smith (EX.New)
(July 6, 2021) E-mail from Mark Webb (EX.New)

Motions (City Council)

1 - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Ana Bail„o (Carried)

That City Council direct the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer and the Executive Director, Housing Secretariat to report back to City Council, through the Executive Committee, by the end of 2023 with an update on the implementation of the Vacant Home Tax in Toronto, learnings from other jurisdictions that have implemented a similar tax and recommendations for any required changes to the Toronto Vacant Homes Tax program, including any potential increase to the tax rate.

Vote (Amend Item (Additional)) Jul-15-2021 7:23 PM

Result: Carried Majority Required - EX25.3 - Bail„o - motion 1
Total members that voted Yes: 23 Members that voted Yes are Paul Ainslie, Ana Bail„o, Brad Bradford, Shelley Carroll, Mike Colle, Gary Crawford, Joe Cressy, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Michael Ford, Mark Grimes, Cynthia Lai, Mike Layton, Nick Mantas, Josh Matlow, Jennifer McKelvie, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, Michael Thompson, John Tory, Kristyn Wong-Tam
Total members that voted No: 3 Members that voted No are Stephen Holyday, Denzil Minnan-Wong, James Pasternak
Total members that were Absent: 0 Members that were absent are

2 - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Stephen Holyday (Lost)

That City Council request the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer to include, as part of the report back in the in the fourth quarter of 2021, an option to harmonize the City's Vacant Homes Tax with the proposed National Vacancy Tax.

Vote (Amend Item (Additional)) Jul-15-2021 7:24 PM

Result: Lost Majority Required - EX25.3 - Holyday - motion 2
Total members that voted Yes: 11 Members that voted Yes are Gary Crawford, Michael Ford, Mark Grimes, Stephen Holyday, Nick Mantas, Josh Matlow, Denzil Minnan-Wong, James Pasternak, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, John Tory
Total members that voted No: 15 Members that voted No are Paul Ainslie, Ana Bail„o, Brad Bradford, Shelley Carroll, Mike Colle, Joe Cressy, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Cynthia Lai, Mike Layton, Jennifer McKelvie, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Gord Perks, Michael Thompson, Kristyn Wong-Tam
Total members that were Absent: 0 Members that were absent are

3a - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Deputy Mayor Denzil Minnan-Wong (Carried)

That City Council direct the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer and Executive Director Housing Secretariat to include in the report back in the fourth quarter of 2021 the findings from consultations, proposed operational procedures and policies for the administration and enforcement of the vacant home tax program to ensure compliance with the applicable requirements of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Vote (Amend Item (Additional)) Jul-15-2021 7:26 PM

Result: Carried Majority Required - EX25.3 - Minnan-Wong - motion 3a
Total members that voted Yes: 19 Members that voted Yes are Ana Bail„o, Brad Bradford, Mike Colle, Gary Crawford, Michael Ford, Mark Grimes, Stephen Holyday, Cynthia Lai, Mike Layton, Nick Mantas, Josh Matlow, Jennifer McKelvie, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Frances Nunziata (Chair), James Pasternak, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, Michael Thompson, John Tory
Total members that voted No: 7 Members that voted No are Paul Ainslie, Shelley Carroll, Joe Cressy, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Gord Perks, Kristyn Wong-Tam
Total members that were Absent: 0 Members that were absent are

3b - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Deputy Mayor Denzil Minnan-Wong (Lost)

That City Council prohibit City staff from using water and hydro bills, without the expressed consent of the homeowners, in the investigation of residences related to the Vacant Home Tax in Toronto.

Vote (Amend Item (Additional)) Jul-15-2021 7:27 PM

Result: Lost Majority Required - EX25.3 - Minnan-Wong - motion 3b
Total members that voted Yes: 11 Members that voted Yes are Mike Colle, Gary Crawford, Mark Grimes, Cynthia Lai, Josh Matlow, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Frances Nunziata (Chair), James Pasternak, Anthony Perruzza, Michael Thompson, John Tory
Total members that voted No: 15 Members that voted No are Paul Ainslie, Ana Bail„o, Brad Bradford, Shelley Carroll, Joe Cressy, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Michael Ford, Stephen Holyday, Mike Layton, Nick Mantas, Jennifer McKelvie, Gord Perks, Jaye Robinson, Kristyn Wong-Tam
Total members that were Absent: 0 Members that were absent are

3c - Motion to Amend Motion moved by Deputy Mayor Denzil Minnan-Wong (Lost)

That motion 1 by Councillor Bailao be amended by deleting the words "including any potential increase to the tax rate" so that motion 1 reads as follows:

 

That City Council direct the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer and the Executive Director, Housing Secretariat to report back to City Council, through the Executive Committee, by the end of 2023 with an update on the implementation of the Vacant Home Tax in Toronto, learnings from other jurisdictions that have implemented a similar tax and recommendations for any required changes to the Toronto Vacant Homes Tax program. including any potential increase to the tax rate.

Vote (Amend Motion) Jul-15-2021 7:20 PM

Result: Lost Majority Required - EX25.3 - Minnan-Wong - motion 3c
Total members that voted Yes: 9 Members that voted Yes are Gary Crawford, Joe Cressy, Michael Ford, Stephen Holyday, Cynthia Lai, Denzil Minnan-Wong, James Pasternak, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson
Total members that voted No: 17 Members that voted No are Paul Ainslie, Ana Bail„o, Brad Bradford, Shelley Carroll, Mike Colle, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mark Grimes, Mike Layton, Nick Mantas, Josh Matlow, Jennifer McKelvie, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Gord Perks, Michael Thompson, John Tory, Kristyn Wong-Tam
Total members that were Absent: 0 Members that were absent are

Vote (Amend Motion) Jul-15-2021 7:21 PM

Result: Lost Majority Required - EX25.3 - Minnan-Wong - motion 3c - REVOTE
Total members that voted Yes: 7 Members that voted Yes are Gary Crawford, Michael Ford, Stephen Holyday, Cynthia Lai, Denzil Minnan-Wong, James Pasternak, Jaye Robinson
Total members that voted No: 19 Members that voted No are Paul Ainslie, Ana Bail„o, Brad Bradford, Shelley Carroll, Mike Colle, Joe Cressy, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mark Grimes, Mike Layton, Nick Mantas, Josh Matlow, Jennifer McKelvie, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Michael Thompson, John Tory, Kristyn Wong-Tam
Total members that were Absent: 0 Members that were absent are

4 - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor John Filion (Carried)

That City Council direct the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer and the Executive Director, Housing Secretariat to report to the Executive Committee by the end of the fourth quarter 2021, on any additional tools available to the City of Toronto, such as a speculation tax, including those used in other major jurisdictions, to discourage the treatment of housing as a commodity.

Vote (Amend Item (Additional)) Jul-15-2021 7:28 PM

Result: Carried Majority Required - EX25.3 - Filion - motion 4
Total members that voted Yes: 21 Members that voted Yes are Paul Ainslie, Ana Bail„o, Brad Bradford, Shelley Carroll, Mike Colle, Gary Crawford, Joe Cressy, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mark Grimes, Mike Layton, Nick Mantas, Josh Matlow, Jennifer McKelvie, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, Michael Thompson, John Tory, Kristyn Wong-Tam
Total members that voted No: 5 Members that voted No are Michael Ford, Stephen Holyday, Cynthia Lai, Denzil Minnan-Wong, James Pasternak
Total members that were Absent: 0 Members that were absent are

Motion to Adopt Item as Amended (Carried)

Vote (Adopt Item as Amended) Jul-15-2021 7:29 PM

Result: Carried Majority Required - EX25.3 - Adopt the Item as amended
Total members that voted Yes: 25 Members that voted Yes are Paul Ainslie, Ana Bail„o, Brad Bradford, Shelley Carroll, Mike Colle, Gary Crawford, Joe Cressy, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Michael Ford, Mark Grimes, Cynthia Lai, Mike Layton, Nick Mantas, Josh Matlow, Jennifer McKelvie, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Frances Nunziata (Chair), James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, Michael Thompson, John Tory, Kristyn Wong-Tam
Total members that voted No: 1 Members that voted No are Stephen Holyday
Total members that were Absent: 0 Members that were absent are

Point of Privilege by Councillor Stephen Holyday

Councillor Holyday, on a Point of Privilege, stated that he did not think that Councillor Perks' remarks about his motion being a "poison pill" were accurate and further stated that if a Member makes an untrue statement on the floor he has to raise that.


Point of Privilege by Councillor Gord Perks

Councillor Perks, on a Point of Privilege, stated that Councillor Holyday had accused him of making an untrue statement on the floor of Council which is a violation of his Personal Privilege as a Member and stated that he would like Councillor Holyday to withdraw the statement.


Point of Privilege by Councillor Stephen Holyday

Councillor Holyday, on a Point of Privilege, stated that Councillor Perks characterized his motion as a "poison pill" and Councillor Holyday further stated that is inaccurate.

Ruling by Speaker Frances Nunziata
Speaker Nunziata accepted the Points of Privilege and ruled that Councillor Perks appeared to not want to support Councillor Holyday's motion and had made a comment about it.


Point of Privilege by Councillor Stephen Holyday

Councillor Holyday, on a Point of Privilege, stated that Councillor Perks had characterized his motion as a "poison pill" which is not a fair characterization because his motion is not action-oriented, it is a report request.

EX25.3 - Recommended Tax Design and Steps to Implement a Vacant Home Tax in Toronto

Decision Type:
ACTION
Status:
Adopted
Wards:
All

Committee Recommendations

The Executive Committee recommends that:

 

1. City Council approve in principle the proposed tax design features set out in Attachment 1 to the report (June 21, 2021) from the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer and the Executive Director, Housing Secretariat.

 

2. City Council direct the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer and Executive Director Housing Secretariat to:

 

a. undertake public consultation and receive written comments from all stakeholders on the proposed tax design; and

 

b. report back during the fourth quarter of 2021 with the findings from consultations and any modifications to a finalized tax design and an enabling tax by-law for City Council consideration for implementation on January 1, 2022.

Origin

(June 21, 2021) Report from the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer and the Executive Director, Housing Secretariat

Summary

City Council, at its meeting of December 16-18, 2020, considered the report EX19.3: Policy Analysis, Potential Design and Possible Implementation of a Vacant Home Tax in Toronto, which provided research and analysis on this form of policy tool as well as potential design issues and implementation steps for an effective and efficient vacant home tax program designed to improve housing affordability and availability in Toronto.

 

The direction from City Council was to develop key tax design features and administrative structures to support a vacant home tax (VHT) program and to report back with a recommended taxation design for a vacant home tax by the end of the second quarter of 2021 for implementation commencing in the 2022 taxation year.  Council also directed that a report back address the public policy rationale for the tax and annual reporting requirements to measure the effectiveness of the tax, principal residence exemptions and the protection of snowbirds, the potential allocation of net tax revenues towards affordable housing initiatives, and coordination with other City property standards programs.

 

This report responds to the Council request and presents key tax design principles to be considered as part of a future tax by-law, including annual declaration responsibility of all homeowners, key definitions of vacant homes, principal residence exemptions, other exempting conditions, administrative matters, tax rate, and general information regarding audit and enforcement functions, complaints and appeals process, offences and penalties and annual reporting requirements.

 

The report also recommends that such design principles be presented for public and stakeholder consultation during third quarter of 2021.  A further report with findings from the consultations plus any tax design modifications, along with a tax by-law, would then be presented to Council for consideration during the fourth quarter of 2021.  The proposed by-law would become effective on January 1, 2022, with the first annual property declarations in respect of the 2022 taxation being due in 2023.

Background Information

(June 21, 2021) Report from the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer and the Executive Director Housing Secretariat on Recommended Tax Design and Steps to Implement a Vacant Home Tax in Toronto
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2021/ex/bgrd/backgroundfile-168674.pdf

Communications

(December 18, 2020) Letter from J. Campbell (EX.Main)
(July 5, 2021) Letter from Mauro Ritacca submitted a letter from Kevin Crigger, President, Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (EX.New)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2021/ex/comm/communicationfile-134387.pdf
(July 5, 2021) E-mail from Harold B. Smith (EX.New)
(July 6, 2021) E-mail from Mark Webb (EX.New)

Speakers

Emily Johnson

Motions

Motion to Adopt Item moved by Councillor Ana Bail„o (Carried)
Source: Toronto City Clerk at www.toronto.ca/council