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Someone once said that the only two things in life that are inevitable are death and taxes. That person obviously didn't live in a condominium. Or, if he did, he would have added common expenses to that list. What many condominium homeowners find irritating is that when paying property taxes, they are contributing to public coffers which in turn are used to pay for services such as garbage pick up, snow removal and infrastructure repair and maintenance such as sidewalks, roadways, sewers, etc. Yet, at the same time, many condominium homeowners pay, through their common expenses, for those very same services albeit for their condominium community only. Some condominium homeowners consider this double taxation.
There is a growing unrest amongst condominium owners across the province as to what they perceive is an unfair method of assessing condominium units which, in many situations, does not take into consideration that condominiums often have to pay for private garbage pick up and snow removal, as well as contribute reserve monies to reserve funds which in turn will be used to maintain, repair, and when necessary, replace, the infrastructure of that community.
What condominium homeowners want is a fair method of assessing condominiums to take these circumstances into account. Unfortunately, under the current laws, there is only one calculation for assessing residential properties regardless of whether they are condominium high rise, or condominium townhouse, or a freehold home. The CCI believes that should change.
The Golden Horseshoe Chapter of CCI has been working behind the scenes for a number of years attempting to bring this issue to resolution. Unfortunately, there has been a distinct lack of interest amongst municipal officials and provincial representatives. The change in government also set back our efforts. We have, however, been in communication with The Honorable Greg Sorbara, Minister of Finance, and The Honorable Jim Watson, Minister of Consumer and Business Services, (responsible for the Condominium Act, 1998). We received a response from the Minister of Consumer and Business Services. We have yet to hear from Mr. Sorbara.
We estimate that in Ontario, there are at least 1,000,000 voting adults living in condominium corporations. The politicians don't seem to realize this. As such, the Golden Horseshoe Chapter has taken the initiative of asking our members to contact their local MPP. This same open letter has appeared for our members in our Autumn 2004 issue of the Condo News. This Internet page is for all persons to help. In order to find the name and address of your local MPP, reference the Elections Ontario website. Once there, fill in your postal code (without spaces). The resulting search will show your MPP and their contact information, including their email address. Feel free to copy and paste this and email to your MPP, or print this page and mail by regular means. Make your voice heard on this important issue.
I am a condominium homeowner who lives in your riding. I am very concerned at the way property taxes for condominium units are assessed, as I believe it to be unfair. Please review the information contained here, and advise me as to what you and your party are going to do about it.I/We look forward to hearing from you.
Yours very truly,
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Last Updated on Sept 19, 2004
Last Updated on Sept 19, 2004