December 28th - 2014

President's message

OREA President, Costa Poulopoulos, reports on the latest advocacy work being undertaken by the Ontario Real Estate Association on issues that matter to REALTORS® and real estate in his winter message.

Costa Poulopoulos

OREA President, Costa Poulopoulos, reports on the latest advocacy work being undertaken by the Ontario Real Estate Association on issues that matter to REALTORS® and real estate in his winter message.

President COSTA POULOPOULOS

One of our key roles as your representatives on the Ontario Real Estate Association is to advocate on your behalf to the government on issues that matter to REALTORS® and real estate.

We continuously strive to improve the legislative and regulatory environment for you, our members, by conveying your views to policy makers at Queen’s Park. At our recent Political Affairs Conference (PAC) in Toronto, we highlighted three key issues and reported on our progress on these matters of importance to you:

  • Electronic signatures – Electronic agreements of purchase and sale will mean faster and more convenient transactions for REALTORS® and consumers. That’s why OREA is continuing to lobby the provincial government to put into effect legislation that removed the exclusion of the APS from the Electronic Commerce Act, 2000. Due in large part to our successful advocacy efforts, the bill passed in 2013, but it has not yet been proclaimed. Before proclaiming the amendment, the government has requested feedback on whether or not standards for electronic signatures are necessary. The government invited public consultation and input until Dec. 31. OREA is delighted with the prospect of electronic signatures and looks forward to this last step in the process to move us all closer to electronic transactions that save time, travel and money for everyone. We believe we are almost there and that the bill will be proclaimed in 2015. Once proclamation occurs, then consumers and REALTORS® will benefit from the enhanced speed and efficiency that this technology will bring to transactions. We are continuing to work with the government to ensure that the new legislation takes effect as soon as possible.
  • Municipal Land Transfer Tax – Some municipalities in the province are exploring ways to generate revenue and want the government to grant them authority to charge a municipal land transfer tax (MLTT). Toronto is the only city that currently has the authority to levy a MLTT, but other municipalities have expressed an interest in obtaining this tool. This tax adds an average $15,000 to closing costs in Toronto for home buyers. OREA’s recent advocacy campaign, “Say No to Another Home Owner Tax,” demonstrated that taxes on housing kill jobs, discourage consumer spending and reduce mobility. The campaign was highly successful in sharing details about the consequences of this tax and we continue to speak out against the MLTT to prevent the adoption of this tax by other cities. The spread of the MLTT to other regions will affect your business, discourage mobility and hurt the real estate market. Many REALTORS® met with their MPPs during the recent PAC event to urge the government to say no to another tax on home owners and buyers.
  • Personal Real Estate Corporations – Real estate salespeople are among the few regulated professions not permitted to incorporate in our province. Chartered accountants, lawyers, health professionals, mortgage brokers and insurance agents can incorporate in Ontario. Moreover, five other Canadian provinces allow incorporation by REALTORS®. This is about fairness for Ontario real estate brokers and salespeople. A study found that personal real estate corporations (PRECs) more than pay for themselves and provide a small but positive impact on Ontario’s economy. For high-income earners in real estate, incorporation has a number of tax benefits. Incorporation would increase provincial revenue to $2 million annually and will increase Ontario’s Gross Domestic Product by an average $9 to $25 million each year. We continue to promote this issue as a priority for our association. On these and other issues, we are working hard on your behalf to promote legislative changes that benefit our industry and the province as a whole.

To learn more about our lobby issues, visit the Government Relations section of www.orea.com.

Sincerely,

Costa Poulopoulos, President,

Ontario Real Estate Association

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Ontario Real Estate Association

Jean-Adrien Delicano

Manager, Media Relations

JeanAdrienD@orea.com

416-445-9910 ext. 246