On early Tuesday morning, a political art piece crafted from plywood appeared in Trinity Bellwoods Park. While it has since been removed, it attracted plenty of attention from onlookers who posted photos of the sign to social media. Shaped like a graph depicting Toronto’s rising home prices, it states, “The real estate market is destroying this city.”
The y-axis measures home values — beginning at $400,000 and peaking at $900,000 — while the x-axis represents the years between 2008 and 2017. The remainder of the laser-cut sign reads:
A Gentrification Tax will:
- Stop house flipping and other predatory real estate practices
- Halt the displacement of mid to low-income residents
- Redirect profit from the local real estate market to local affordable housing
A Gentrification Tax is a declining percentage tax — from 100% at year one to 0% at year ten of the after inflation increase in home price. Income from the tax is used to support local community-controlled housing initiatives such as land trusts and cooperatives.
BuzzBuzzHome shared a photo of the sign on Twitter, and our followers had some strong opinions about it, plus a few jokes.
Gentrification or speculation tax would only serve to further reduce supply as turnover would further decrease. Need to encourage more people to move/ sell. Reduce friction not increase it. Toronto’s obsessesion with more taxes will have serious long term inflationary effects https://t.co/2cH0ojMIrx
— Andrew LaFleur (@AndrewLaFleur) February 28, 2018
Real estate is building up Toronto better than any city in North America. Last thing we need is another tax.
— DTossan (@DTossan) February 28, 2018
Gentrification is what happens when we don’t build enough new *luxury* housing to absorb new high income population growth and household formation. A new tax won’t fix that, but a new approach to land use planning might. https://t.co/zNANOaCFB8
— Housing Matters (@torontohousing_) February 28, 2018
Not sure exactly what the artist hopes the tax will look like.. but a sort of “gentrification tax” that may be of interest: Tax on the appreciated value of house based on the time between sales. Ex. Higher tax on appreciated value if sold within 2, 3 or 4 years.
— Cheryll Case (@CheryllCase) February 28, 2018
Is Toronto being destroyed? Seems as vibrant as it has ever been. https://t.co/4auubTPXNt
— Big Ben Myers ?✒️ (@benmyers29) February 27, 2018
Even political “art” peices manipulate the Y axis. https://t.co/7Lls8BtrAL
— Jeremy Poteck (@JPScoopZ) February 28, 2018
A digital screen showing the #yvr family exodus in real time was too expensive?
— Benjamin Land (@benjaminland) February 27, 2018
Wrong use of plywood. https://t.co/Sjo1V900h9
— Property Manager (@PrpManager) February 27, 2018