Calgary landlords warn of repercussions following double-digit tax hikes

Calgary landlords have joined the growing number of homeowners protesting double-digit property tax hikes and they’re warning of repercussions.

Katherine Jones owns a 12-unit building in northeast Calgary. She says she was stunned when she got her bill this week.

“I was extremely shocked at the increase,” Jones said.

Her monthly installments have gone up from $1,074 a month to $1,559.

“That constitutes a 45 per cent increase per month in my property tax. Which is equivalent to an increase of just under $6,000 a year.”

 

According to the Calgary Residential Rental Association property taxes rose on average 23 per cent for multi-residential taxpayers.

The organization also said that out of 942 properties, almost half of them saw hikes of somewhere between 10 per cent and 40 per cent, and in some cases even more.

“There’s a lot of anger out there right now,” CRRA executive director Gerry Baxter said.

Baxter told Global News the CRRA met with the city, sent numerous letters and even provided some options, but it was all in vain. A report presented to city council at the end of April was voted down.

“All we were looking for was the same treatment as what city council has done for the last five years with the business community. Instead, this year, city council has said they don’t care.”

Baxter added landlords have been working very hard the last few years with reductions in rent as well as increased vacancies. He also pointed out many landlords are not huge corporations but mom and pop retirement investments — without deep pockets. He believes the move to not provide any kind of relief will backfire.

“There’s going to be ramifications,” he said. “It’s going to hurt the industry. It’s going to hurt renters. It’s going to really hurt investment and attracting new investment to this city.”

Jones is worried about that as well, especially with the prolonged downturn in Calgary’s economy and the ongoing pandemic.

“People have lost their jobs. One third of the people that live in my building have lost their jobs.”

Instead, Jones plans to put some of the renovations and improvements she was going to do to the building this summer on hold.

Global News reached out to the City of Calgary for a comment, was referred to council. A spokesperson for Mayor Naheed Nenshi told us the mayor was not available to comment on the concerns from landlords.

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