Will brokers and Realtors ever agree?

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Brokers and Realtors are divided once again, this time over what if any impact a new plan to reduce Toronto’s land transfer tax will have on an idle real estate market.

”I don’t think it would have any effect in terms of getting people to buy,” said Darin Bauer, with Mortgage Intelligence in Toronto. “Cutting the land transfer tax by 10 per cent isn’t going to make someone jump and buy a $500K home. I think they should just leave the tax where it is.”

The comment echoes those of brokers across the city as Toronto Mayor Rob Ford prepares to bring his motion before the city’s executive committee this week in an effort to reduce – but not eliminate – the city’s land transfer tax.

He’s hoping to win a 10 per cent chop – something Realtors across the city are standing in support of. As a group, they have spent the last two years lobbying for an outright ban on the tax. It’s something Ford is now dismissing as an impossible dream.

But where Realtors see any reduction in the tax as likely to bolster home sales, brokers are more skeptical.

“It’s really a question for Realtors,” said Eddie Pita, a broker with Mortgage Alliance, “but I don’t think reducing the tax will make for a huge dent in the market in terms of speeding up sales.”

It would have a significant impact on the city’s coffers, argue Ford critics.

The tax was, in fact, responsible for injecting $344.5 million into the city last year, with even a 10 per cent cut likely to knock out some services, according to a City Hall report.

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