Monday, June 5, 2017

Saddled with a property tax bill that’s jumping by 42 per cent next month, a city senior is considering abandoning his Stanley Park-area home. Bob Hutchison said he was shocked when the assessment of his mid-1950s bungalow increased by 17 per cent and was then floored by the resulting hike in his monthly tax bill, which went from $284 to $402. “It’s ludicrous — I don’t know how they can justify the increase,” said Hutchison, 70.

Calgary housing prices are ridiculous considering the economy and assessments seem excessive.
Soon Calgary will be like Vancouver where citizens can't afford to buy homes. Or stay in them.
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I thought the cost of houses in Vancouver was unaffordable but here we are in Calgary, Alberta and they are also excessive. How is it even possible that a modest home like this is assessed at over half a million dollars? It's very surprising. And the property taxes seem high as well. We're in the middle of a recession and the city of Calgary still thinks that these homes are worth these big bucks?

Saddled with a property tax bill that’s jumping by 42 per cent next month, a city senior is considering abandoning his Stanley Park-area home. Bob Hutchison said he was…
CALGARYHERALD.COM

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http://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/senior-says-property-tax-hike-could-drive-him-out-of-southwest-home

Senior says property tax hike could drive him out of southwest home

Published on: June 5, 2017 | Last Updated: June 5, 2017 6:52 AM MDT
Bob Hutchison was shocked when the assessment of his mid-1950s bungalow in the Stanley Park area increased by 17 per cent.
Bob Hutchison was shocked when the assessment of his mid-1950s bungalow in the Stanley Park area increased by 17 per cent. RYAN MCLEOD / RYAN MCLEOD/POSTMEDIA NETWORK
Saddled with a property tax bill that’s jumping by 42 per cent next month, a city senior is considering abandoning his Stanley Park-area home.
Bob Hutchison said he was shocked when the assessment of his mid-1950s bungalow increased by 17 per cent and was then floored by the resulting hike in his monthly tax bill, which went from $284 to $402.
“It’s ludicrous — I don’t know how they can justify the increase,” said Hutchison, 70.
Though he’s launched an appeal of the assessment — which is based on the market value from July 1, 2016 — he’s holding out little hope it’ll lead to a reversal.
With fixed incomes that includes a military pension, Hutchison said he and his wife might have to give up a property they’ve called home since 1993 that’s now assessed at $644,000.
“We don’t have enough equity in the house — we’re seriously considering walking away or squatting for a year with not paying taxes,” he said.
Hutchison said he’s made no recent improvements to his home and questioned why his residence and a few adjacent ones that back onto a green space hosting power lines have seen big assessment hikes, while more expensive properties on the other side of the street have been issued decreases.
“The whole thing is just so wrong,” he said.
Bob Hutchison was shocked when the assessment of his mid-1950s bungalow in the Stanley Park area increased by 17 per cent. RYAN MCLEOD / POSTMEDIA NETWORK
City assessments manager Eddie Lee said he can’t speak to the specifics of Hutchison’s case but added the median assessed value for Stanley Park is $758,000, a number driven up by infill home building.
“We would take a look at comparable houses sold and apply that to homes that haven’t sold,” he said.
The increase Hutchison is seeing in his property tax is probably being back-loaded onto the last six months of  2017, after no hike from January through June, said Mike Perkins, the manager of the city’s tax receivables-payables.
“We’re taking the full year’s increase and recovering it in the last six months,” said Perkins, adding the tax system is a revenue-neutral balancing act.
“It’s a re-allocation from properties that have declined to properties that have seen increases in assessment,” he said.
Hutchison said that’s cold comfort given the tax sledgehammer he’s facing in less than a month.
“It’s quite an increase regardless of how they explain it,” he said.
City officials say the number of assessment appeals dropped by 24 per cent this year compared to last, going from 1,100 in 2016 to 834, while inquiries have fallen by 67 per cent.
Complaints over property taxes are down “noticeably” said Perkins, due largely to a 1.5 per cent tax hike for 2017 that’s covered by a one-time rebate from a reduction in the province’s take.
Last year, ratepayers were faced with a 6.1 per cent tax hike, which the city blamed partly on the province asking for an additional $70 million in revenue, he noted.
There are city and provincial programs to cushion the tax blow for low-income seniors and homeowners who meet certain criteria, said Perkins.
BKaufmann@postmedia.com
on Twitter: @BillKaufmannjrn



Julie Ali · 

I find it hard to believe that some of these properties are assessed at over half a million dollars. Surely they can't be worth this much?

I also don't believe we are getting value for the payment of the property taxes. Only the sanitation departments seems to do a good job with reference to value for money. The folks who pick up the garbage and recyclables are excellent. Thank you to these workers for the week after week work they do.
LikeReplyJust now
Tom Aaron
Odd. My partner and I get by fine on combined basic Old Age and low CPP pensions. We pay property tax about the same as this senior.

Also there is deferred property tax for seniors and basic maintenance programs to help keep us in the home. We dont use the deferred program but it is available if we need it.
LikeReply21 mins
Jill Turpin
🙄
LikeReply17 mins
Jack Meyer
Sorry, but with homes costing more in the Stanley park area, pay for it or sell and move to affordable neighborhoods like Haysboro or Acadia., city can only do what is mandated nothing more nothing less.
LikeReply21 mins
Garth Wiancko · 

I've been through the appeal process and the reason they are down is there is no way to have a fair assessment. That and the cost of appealing as well as the time spent are huge obstacles put in place by government to ensure we tow the line. Revenue neutral is BS. The GOV makes sure to spend all our tax money, even if frivolous, to ensure they don't get less next year and in fact can ask for more. There never will be any money left over. Wait till you see the jump in water and sewer bills. NO. END. IN. SITE.
UnlikeReply231 mins
Julie Ali · 

I am curious what our electricity bills will be once the GOA removes the cap. Once we get uncapped electricity bills I'm imagining our cost of living will be excessive in Alberta.
LikeReply4 mins
Ian Prest
this is from the excesses from council on pet project..art tax on all city projects at 8%.. time for a new council and mayor..time to boot the left leaning councillors and get some fiscal conservatives in..tunnel for green line at 2 billion dollars?? is it really needed or just another want from council?? 4.65 billion for half a lrt line as being told 4.5 billion for the whole line..lies from council and city managers
LikeReply145 mins
Bobby Kane
Thank you NDP and Liberals you clowns are obviously doing an excellent job. NOT!!!!! The Conservatives were bad enough now this ???
LikeReply11 hr
Pat Power · 
Works at Retired

How I wish our property taxes were that low in Turner Valley!
LikeReply1 hr
Julie Ali · 

How high are they in Turner Valley?
LikeReply3 mins


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