Let’s look this gift horse in the mouth

By Penny Caldwell »Penny Caldwell

March 23rd, 2007


It was like being handed a present that didn’t quite measure up. Someone read your wish list, but they got the model number wrong.

So it was with the Ontario government’s announcement yesterday of a revised property tax system that would see assessments carried out every four years, rather than every year, and any increase in an assessment spread out over those four years.

For cottagers who have been concerned about skyrocketing assessments and related high property taxes, there is little comfort. You’ll have some relief in the size of individual payments within a four-year assessment cycle, but no relief from the volatility of the market. Assessments (and taxes) will be as high as ever, they’ll just come in bigger jumps every four years.

As Bob Topp, a Muskoka cottager and spokesperson for the Coalition After Property Tax Reform (CAPTR), noted in a press release today, taxes will be “more predictable within each four-year period but the problem of volatility caused by a market-driven system remains.”

The province-wide coalition of ratepayer and seniors organizations had been calling for a five per cent cap on assessment increases. “If Finance Minister Sorbara had combined his four-year cycle with our call for a five per cent cap on annual assessment increases, he would have provided real property-tax stability,” Topp said.

Earlier this month, CAPTR backed the pledge of John Tory, leader of Ontario’s Progressive Conservative party, to cap annual property assessment increases at five per cent if the party wins the provincial election on October 10th.


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Mark J

Jun. 5, 2007

1:04 pm

There is a petition available - its called an election ballot. Rich folk are chasing the average owner out of their cottages. I'd be happy with even a 10% cap. There is no way to get out of death taxes. For your average person it amounts to 25% of the gained value. If the old parent tranfers it while still alive they will also lose most of their oac/cpp. Read a book on family cottages and the best info it has was an idea that you charge $15 per adult, and $10 per child for each visit. Everyone gets charged that including the title owner and it creats enough cash to cover taxes and utilities. You increase the amount yearly at the inflation rate. This, they claim, is a friendly way that no one can complain about and put the focus on the taxman rather than the owner.

Pat Taylor

Jun. 5, 2007

11:42 am

Its a sad fact that you can't will your cottage to your kids. In my case close to $50,000 in capital gains tax will be owed and my estate is basically pennyless. My adult child can't affort to take out a mortgage for that amount either even though it would be an excellent investment. So I'll pass on and the cottage will get sold for some high amount and my child will get the after tax leftovers which won't buy them a cottage though. What a crazy system we support.


May. 17, 2007

8:21 am

I'd like to if there is a petition that I can sign to help the cause.

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