From Tim Hudak MPP Niagara West-Glanbrook
"If it's broke, don't fix it"; McGuinty Coins New Expression in Response to Property Assessment Concerns
Tim Hudak, Ontario PC Finance Critic, called on Dalton McGuinty today to fix his broken property assessment scheme following an admission from Premier himself that this year’s assessments were “unrealistic”.
"Dalton McGuinty's bizarre comments show how out of touch he has become with what Ontario families are going through in today's economic climate," Hudak said. "Taxpayers are seeing their property assessments skyrocket while the value of their homes are falling."
This year’s property assessments were based on Jan. 1, 2008 values – the height of a hot housing market. By the time the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) mailed out new assessment notices this fall, housing prices across the province had already dropped dramatically.
The average assessment in the City of Toronto increased by 21.6 per cent this year. Some Toronto neighbourhoods saw even larger increases, such as 28 per cent in Parkdale-High Park, 32 per cent in Trinity-Spadina and 33 per cent in Danforth. The average housing price in Toronto has already dropped by 5.7 per cent or $21,431 below January 2008 values.
Other examples include: rightclick to view image
Worse still, under the new McGuinty property assessment scheme, property owners have no hope of relief from the resultant tax increases until the next assessment in 2012.
“If these assessments are wrong, then the Premier has a duty to fix them,” Hudak said. “Otherwise too many Ontario families and seniors will be paying higher property taxes for at least four years when they shouldn't be.”
Hudak said McGuinty should act immediately and restore annual assessments so they properly reflect market conditions and can’t be allowed to get out of whack.
Also, any assessment increases from the 2008 assessment should be capped at an inflationary value to protect taxpayers and any decreases in assessment should be fully reflected.