Once known as a city of opportunity, Toronto faces a dire situation as Mayor Olivia Chow’s latest efforts to trigger a property assessment loom over its struggling homeowners. The assessment, which has not been conducted since 2016, threatens their dreams of financial freedom and exacerbates the burden of increasing mortgages.
As homeowners brace themselves for the potential doubling of property taxes within a year, the city risks becoming an enclave exclusively for the super-wealthy. Chow’s policies, while aimed at achieving equity, are driving further social and economic division, demonizing hard-working families and undermining the value of homeownership.
Lack of Transparency and Accountability:
The Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC), responsible for property assessments, operates covertly, shielded from public scrutiny. Homeowners need to be made aware of the arbitrary determination of their taxes, leading to widespread frustration and confusion. Despite being a not-for-profit organization, MPAC’s opaque practices raise concerns about whose interests they truly serve.
Back in 2006, Ontario’s ombudsman described MPAC’s valuations as “sophisticated guesswork,” pointing out the wide margins of error allowed in the industry. It is high time for a public audit of the city’s capital flows and an examination of wasteful infrastructure development.
Unfair Treatment of Homeowners:
MPAC’s questionable practices extend beyond lack of transparency. New condo developments have been mainly targeted, with assessments conducted without clear disclosure and seemingly arbitrary valuations.
The Toronto Star highlighted one example: MPAC assessed a retiree’s condo at $100,000 more than what was paid, leaving him baffled and frustrated. When confronted with evidence by diligent reporters, MPAC dismisses their findings without substantiating their accuracy. The agency’s claims of fairness and adherence to international standards must be more credible, as they fail to specify which standards they follow or how their models align with their objectives.
Mayor Chow’s Hidden Agenda:
While Olivia Chow may present herself as a champion of the people, her political motives suggest otherwise. By triggering a comprehensive property assessment across Toronto, she aims to view every homeowner as a resource for her redistribution agenda, disregarding the vast differences in wealth and resources.
This move disproportionately affects average families struggling to make ends meet, while those residing in affluent areas like the Bridle Path remain largely unaffected.
Toronto’s newly-elected Mayor Olivia Chow policies, though seemingly noble, lack a clear and actionable plan and are likely to have unintended consequences, pushing Toronto further into economic turmoil
The Need for a Sensible Approach:
Reassessment and property tax increases may be necessary at some point.
However, a responsible government should recognize the inability of most homeowners to absorb such a shock. Instead, a gradual implementation plan should be devised, minimizing the catastrophic impact on struggling families.
The goal should be a fair system with clear rules and regulations that can be examined, scrutinized, and contested.
Olivia Chow’s attempts to level the playing field in Toronto come at a heavy cost to struggling homeowners. She risks driving the city into financial distress and widening the gap between the rich and the poor by triggering a property assessment without a comprehensive plan. While the concept of equity is essential, it should not be achieved through punitive measures that undermine the value of hard work and homeownership.
Toronto needs a sensible and transparent approach to ensure a fair system that benefits all residents rather than burdening them further.
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Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow’s Critics Fear THE Impact on THE Housing Market and Middle-Class Residents
By James Fields