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安省很可能在下届大选前实施国外买家税
Queen’s Park may implement foreign buyer tax before next election

万锦市持续飙涨的房价导致一些业主担忧日甚,并建议市府通过寻求开征国外买家税的动议。但Bob Mok表示,虽然旨在限制低层住宅建设的省级规划政策是导致房价高涨的原因,省政府却可能会利用公众愤懑情绪而在下届大选前实施国外买家税。
Skyrocketing home prices in the city of Markham has sparked growing concerns of some homeowners who suggest the city to pass a motion seeking Queen’s Park to implement foreign buyers’ tax. Bob Mok points out that while provincial planning policies in limiting building of low rise homes may play a part in the soaring home prices, Ontario Liberals may tap into the public anger and implement the foreign buyer tax just before the next election. 
 
 
2017年2月13日,万锦市议员雷亚提出要求万锦市府促请安省政府在全省实施类似温哥华市的国外买家税的动议,该动议获得市议员何胡景的支持。

On February 13, 2017 a motion was moved by Markham Councillor Karen Rea and seconded by Councillor Alan Ho to have the City of Markham Council request the Government of Ontario to implement a foreign buyers tax across the Province of Ontario similar to the City of Vancouver. 
 
 
该项动议促使许多万锦居民多年来第一次参加市议会会议。有10位居民委托了代表,另有78位居民致信市府就此问题发表自己的看法,对当地房地产市场的住房负担能力危机以及外国买家持续推高房价表示担忧。他们还认为开征类似温哥华所实施新税的国外买家税将有助于遏制外国投机者,可为疯狂飙涨的房市降温,并防止相关问题蔓延至其他地区。

This motion brought out many Markham residents to the Council meeting for the first time in many years. Ten people delivered deputations and 78 others wrote to the City on this issue to express their opinions, expressing concerns that there is an affordability crisis in the real estate market and that foreign buyers are the driving force behind it. They also suggest that a foreign buyers tax – similar to that implemented in Vancouver would curb the foreign speculations and cool an inflated market, preventing the problem from spreading beyond the city.
 
 
可悲的是,一些居民的担忧并非基于确定的统计数据,而是出于恐惧心理。此外,一些居民难以分辨温哥华和多伦多的外国买家之间的差异。区域议员李国贤已经明确指出,多伦多地产局的统计数据显示在大多伦多地区的所有购房交易中只有5%涉及外国买家。尽管相关动议中并未提及“中国”一词,但其中明显暗指主要的外国买家群体是来自中国。

Sadly, some of these concerns were not based on confirmed statistics but fear. There were also distortions when residents cannot distinguish the  inherent differences between Vancouver and Toronto foreign buyers. Regional Councillor Joe Li made it clear that the house buying by foreigners in GTA only constitutes 5% of all purchases as identified by the Toronto Real Estate Board. Even though the word “Chinese” was not mentioned, it was the major group of foreigners implicitly inferred in this motion. 

 
目前,有许多中国大陆人士都将自己的资金“存放”在温哥华以避免人民币贬值。此外,随着中国政府采取措施遏止此类行为,大陆人士设法将自己的部分资金转移出国亦成为必要之举。这些“外国人”将购房作为投资,还有许多人将所购房产作为躲避中国致命的冬季雾霾的度假屋。温哥华的冬季要比多伦多温暖得多,并且买家只需来次短途旅行就可时不时地前往当地查看、购买和检查自己的投资房。

In Vancouver, many Chinese mainlanders came to “park” their monies to protect themselves from the devaluation of the RMB. As well, it is necessary to funnel some of their monies out of the country that is taking measures to halt all such activities. The “foreigners” are buying for investments and many regard these purchases as vacation homes from the deadly winter smog. Vancouver is much warmer than Toronto in winter and it is only a short trip for the buyers to examine, purchase, and inspect their investments from time to time.

 
而多伦多距离中国非常遥远。在当地购房的大部分中国买家都是加拿大永久居民或移民。虽然的确有许多房屋在成交不久后便变成了出租屋,但这种现象并不新鲜。•

Toronto is a very long distance from China. Most of the Chinese purchasing these dwellings are permanent residents or immigrants. While it is true that many of the house are being converted into rental units shortly after they are purchased, this situation is not new. 

 
在2000年,我的儿子及其学生朋友在城市广场附近租住了一个地下室。当时,这栋房屋的新移民业主在自住的同时将房屋的一部分租给了另一个家庭,他甚至还将车库改造成了出租屋。依靠这种做法,该业主在短短几年内就还清了房贷。我在这里并不是要评判其行为的合法性,而只是想举例说明这种现象已经存在了数十年之久。

In 2000, my son rented a basement with his student friends near Market Village. At that time, the owner was a new immigrant who lived in the house and rented parts of it to another family. He even converted the garage into a rental unit. This action paid for his mortgages in a few years. I am not here to judge the legitimacy of his actions but rather to give one example of what has been going on for decades.

 
最终,万锦市议会以8票对4票否决了相关动议。该项动议的主要目的是寻求在安省全省范围内实施国外买家税。实际上,在持续飙涨的房价的刺激下,许多确实心存忧虑的居民对中国买家产生了误解。问题的根本原因在于安省在过去10年实施了旨在限制独立屋和镇屋建设的规划政策。此外,可以藉此将开发费收入最大化的市府亦是相关计划的合伙人。而供需关系波动循环则使情况雪上加霜,从而将房价推至高不可攀的地步。

In the end, the motion in the Markham Council chamber was defeated by a vote of 8 to 4. The major thrust of the motion was to institute a foreign buyers tax across the Province of Ontario. Fanned by the rising house prices, the residents had a genuine concern which was misdirected at the Chinese buyers. The root cause of the problem has to do with the provincial planning to limit the building of detached houses and townhomes over the past decade. The municipalities are partners to this scheme since they can maximize their development charges as well. The supply and demand cycle simply exacerbates the situation and drives the prices of housing through the roof.

 
“外国买家”问题引得怨声载道亦受到了省府的关注。由于这一问题导致许多居民深感不满和愤怒,安省自由党将会利用这种能量,在明年年初推出国外买家税以为下届省选做准备也就不足为奇了。

This perceived “foreign buyer” problem has not escaped the Provincial Government's radar. With so much resentment and anger exhibited by so many residents on this issue, it is not inconceivable that the Liberals will harness this energy and institute a foreign buyers tax early next year and just in time for the next Provincial Election. 

 
对于安省自由党来说,即时推出的“国外买家税”虽然可能并不能有效缓解住房负担能力问题,但却是能在选举期间谋取政治收益的有效武器!

For the provincial Liberals, an immediate “foreign buyers tax” may not be effective for alleviating unaffordable housing but it can be an effective weapon for political gains come election time!
 
 

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