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Ortt joins federal representatives in calls to protect WNY's Canadian property owners


Thu, Jun 24th 2021 08:35 am

On Wednesday, Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt joined calls from New York’s federal representatives to stop any taxes on foreigners who currently own a vacant property in Canada. Along with increased COVID-19 vaccination thresholds, the Canadian government announced it was moving forward with a plan to tax foreign owners whose properties remain vacant.

“While I understand the Canadian government’s aim to relieve stress on the housing market in and around the Greater Toronto Metropolitan Area, its broad plan to tax vacant properties does not clarify if cottage owners will be included in this tax or not,” Ortt said. “This is a major concern for many small, single-property owners in my district who own vacation homes across the border in Canada. I applaud our federal representatives for acknowledging the concerns of many Western New Yorkers and support their warnings of retaliatory measures should cottage homeowners be included in this new tax.”

The plan of a 1% tax was first discussed in April. Last week, Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland announced the Canadian government was prepared to implement the tax in the coming year.

“At a time when the rest of the world is opening up, the Canadian government seems intent on keeping their borders closed to outsiders,” Ortt said. “They have prevented American owners from visiting their properties for over a year and cannot, in good faith, impose a tax on them for their inability to visit their Canadian properties. 

“Congressmen Jacobs and Higgins, along with Sen. Schumer, have been outspoken in their defense of Western New York’s Canadian property owners. We must do everything within our power to not only protect our residents who own property across the border, but also work together to finally reopen the border for good.”

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