Here is the CCI presentation program that I said I would send to you. TP
Fair – Provincial Campaign
Here is the CCI presentation program that I said I would send to you. TP
Fair – Provincial Campaign
Filed under Taxes
Not to be rude, but is this serious? I have never seen such an amateurish presentation.
Considering that this organization is asking everyone to pay higher taxes so that they can enjoy lower ones, they appear not to have invested very much in their materials.
That is not what they are asking at all.
They are asking municipalities to provide an equal level of service for the equal share of taxes.
Well, I suppose that’s one way of looking at the question. If the taxes collected from condo owners decrease, however, it’s an unavoidable consequence that those collected from everyone else will increase.
None of which changes the fact that the materials are hopelessly substandard.
Condo owners have been paying a disproportionate amount of taxes relative to the services received. You could say that condos have been subsidizing the amount single detached homes pay. Both condo and single homes fall under the same tax residential tax rate.
Did you know that condo apartment and townhome owners pay the same tax rate as owners of single detached homes?
Regardless of how you feel about the quality of the materials, the message is what needs to be heard.
I am aware that condo owners pay the same tax rate as the owners of single detached homes. I am not convinced yet that this constitutes a subsidization of single detached homes, however.
One common complaint I have heard is that condos do not enjoy municipal garbage pick-up, and so condo owners are being taxed for a service they don’t receive. Putting to one side the fact that property taxes are not service fees but contributions to municipal government (which is also important), this complaint is simply wrong and based on a lack of information. If the owners of condos put their garbage, properly sorted, on a public curb, it would be taken away by the city. They choose not to do however, for reasons that are particular to them. As a result, they have to pay for private garbage disposal.
This is the sort of argument I would expect to see addressed properly in promotional materials for a campaign to change the property tax regime in Ontario. I am not the owner of a single detached home, and so I don’t have a stake in preventing reasonable changes. I do believe in fairness, and I am quite open to the idea that there might be problems with our tax system that need fixing. It is for this reason that I found the above presentation so substandard. Instead of a proper argument, this organization has simply written “Did you know that condos pay for garbage pick-up TWICE?” over and over again between pages of clip art. I do not believe the message, such as it is, is being helped by these materials.
I think perhaps that too much emphasis is placed on the garbage collection issue. That said, with the implementation of the cart system the city has virtually eliminated any choice condo owners had in having the city collect their waste, recyclables and compost-ables. Many condo developments simply do not have ample streetside curb space to line up a hundred or more bins. I live in a condo townhouse that up until now has enjoyed collection by the city, but this new system has hamstrung us and we will have to pay for outside collection now as the new bin system is simply not workable in our complex. City officials, including our two ward counsellors, have been on site and agree that complexes like ours do not fit well with the cart system. It was designed for single, detached homes.
Services such as fire hydrant inspections simply are not offered to condos, nor are services like locating curb stops, shutting off water at curb stops for individual units, streetlight maintenance, catch basin cleaning, etc. These are all items that the city performs on call to detached, semi-detached and freehold on street townhomes. I think it only fair that the city extend these services to condo owners. That would be fair.
Snow plowing and sidewalk clearing, I tend to see both sides. The city does’nt plow individual dirveways, so I would not expect my condo drive to be plowed, nor my walk way.
Isn’t the difference that for detached, semi-detached and on street town homes , the hydrants and curb stops are the cities. I understood that the condo hydrants and curb stops in a condo complex are the condo corps not the cities.
Also I was wondering , did the city reduce services or change how condos are taxed after you bought your condo?
How did you come to that understanding?
There is nothing in my deed, the declaration or by-laws of our condominium that states ownership of the condo fire hydrant or curbstops rests with the condominium corporation. The city won’t even do a locate for property owners within the condominium trying to find a curbstop for their unit from the city water supply.
This is not about if the city reduced services after I bought my condo,which in fact they have with the advent of the new garbage collection system, but it is about treating all taxpayers equally and offering equal services to all. I would be willing to pay the same tax rate as detached homes if the city treated condominium owners the same. The city treats condominiums differently, so they should be taxed differently.
Is there a curb stop on the pipe that provides city water to the complex ? Isn’t everything downstream of that private property? Obviously I don’t know what’s in your deed but do you know who owns the curb stops and hydrants in front of the individual units in the complex ?
The curb stop for the complex is similar to water mains that shut water off to entire neighbourhoods, ours being the condominium complex.
I would still like to know how you came to the understanding that ownership of the water supply and curbstops rests with the condominium corporation. I cannot find any reference to ownership of such items within our condominium development. Condominiums may have some responsibility to maintain some systems, but it does not relieve the city of it’s obligation to provide services to the taxpayers within the development.
Let me give you a scenario: In your home the main water shut-off fails. Water is streaming into your basement. You need the water to your home turned off to repair the shut off valve. The city will come and locate the curbstop for your home and turn the water off at the curb stop. Across town the same situation occurs in my home. I call the city to come and locate the curbstop for my home and they will not do it. To get the locate and curb stop shut off I would have to call an outside company and pay them to do it, while through yours and my taxes you have it done by the city. I pay my taxes and water just as you do but do not get the same level of service.
The city is not consistent in the way it deals with condos. They won’t do anything to assist with the water supply(locates, curbstops) but they will assist in maintaining and servicing the electrical system right up to each unit’s hydro meter; all through Guelph Hydro. Both systems are located on or beneath the common elements of the development.
I am not sure but I think I got the idea that the curb stop and hydrant at an individual unit is not city owned from a fact sheet that Ian posted a link to on another thread. That link now gives me an error message that says the file is damaged.
I understand your “scenario” but it seems to me that the logical thing to do would be to find out why they won’t locate your shut off or service your hydrant. The city has the policy for a reason. Find out what that is. If you want to say the city policy is not fair then fight the reasoning behind it. I am suggesting that responsibility probably ends at the property line.
If I were in your position I would find out who owns the hydrant and the curb stop. That’s probably behind the policy. Look at it this way. If the hydrant or curb stop fail and flood your basement who will you sue? The city? I doubt it . It’s probably not their equipment.
The point about Guelph Hydro doesn’t make sense to me. Guelph Hydro is a separate entity from the city and their services are not paid for by property tax.
The point about Guelph Hydro is that it is owned by the city. Sure it is at arms length, but the employees work for the city, even if indirectly. Guelph hydro will come onto the premises and perform maintenance and repairs but the city water department won’t. As the city website points out, property tax is not fee for services, so the property tax point about Guelph Hydro is moot. The point was about city managed or owned utility operations being inconsistent in how and what level of service they choose to provide.
It’s funny, the only utility that won’t come on site to do anything is the city water department. The only reason ever given is “you are a condo, we can’t help you.”.
We could debate all day long on whether the city provides a equal level of service to condos versus freehold homes and we will likely not find much to agree on.
The real issue is that condo ownership is different from owning a detached home. I think everyone can agree with that.
Since they are different, just as commercial and multi-residential properties are different, condominiums should have a different tax classification, as commercial and multi-residential do.
I choose to live in a condo. I enjoy living in my condo. I further choose to ask for fair taxes or fair treatment from the city for condos.
So you insist that the city should service the hydrant and water main on condo property that serve your home regardless of who they belong to? You can’t be bothered to find out who they belong to. You say”The only reason ever given is “you are a condo, we can’t help you.”” Who did you ask? Anybody?
Who owns the water until it reaches the curb stop or the meter?
We had an issue with a major water leak within our complex several years ago. The city would lend zero assistance due to the fact we were a condominium. That is the sole reason given. We have inquired with the city why this is, and the answer remains the same, “we don’t provide these services to condos.”
According to our condominium documents, we do not own the pipes containing the city water supply.
I am not “insisting” on anything, simply pointing out inconsistencies and contradictory city positions.
As I said previously, “We could debate all … and we will likely not find much to agree on.”
This isn’t really a debate or a case of disagreeing. If I don’t know that the city owns the curb stops or the hydrants or why the city won’t service them I can’t form an opinion of their policy. You haven’t told me that you have any validated information that the city owns them and when the I asked who at the city you asked about the policy you didn’t say you personally did. You said we asked and they said we don’t. Who is we ? Who are they? I am simply trying to get the facts and you are supplying a collection of non-answers.Without any actual facts to base an opinion on , your argument doesn’t hold water and I don’t have an opinion.
“we” are the Board of Directors for our Condominium Corporation. “They” are the officials at the City of Guelph Water Works Department. Unfortunately, I do not have the names the President of our Board talked to on the city’s side.
As for not providing answers to your questions, you never did answer the first one I asked you, how did you come to the understanding “that the condo hydrants and curb stops in a condo complex are the condo corps not the cities.”?
I also ask you again, who owns the water in the pipes up to the curbstops and the meters?
After reviewing your reply, Ron, I confess that I am confused.
Given that condo ownership comes saddled with all these extra costs (street lights, fire hydrants, curb stop location, garbage collection, etc etc), I don’t understand why anyone would choose to purchase a condo instead of simply buying freehold. I don’t see the advantage.
Condo ownership has the advantage of having someone to look after things for you. Your grass is cut, exterior building maintenance is done for you, major repairs are budgeted and managed by others; it is essentially worry free living. Condo living is not for everyone though. If you like to work on cars or garden or have hobbies that are noisy and would bother others, the condo living would not be good choice.
Municipalities love condominiums for the tax dollars they generate. That is why they don’t want to have a residential tax class created.
It seems to me that the perceived injustices that are consequent to living in a condo are the cost of enjoying these other amenities that you’ve mentioned, Ron. It’s not as if the tax structure just came into being; condominium ownership has long been taxed like other forms of residential ownership.
I think I would be persuaded by the “fair tax” arguments if the government had just changed the rules on condo-owners. This isn’t the case, of course. I think it’s only fair to assume that before buying a condo, prospective owners do their research, run the numbers, and decide that the inconveniences of having to pay for certain services are worth the worry-free style of living that they will then enjoy. Condo owners aren’t children, after all – they’re rational human beings who are supposed to weigh costs and benefits when arranging their affairs. I do have some difficulty accepting that the rules should now be changed to grant them a further benefit.
Further, I really am not convinced that it is a municipality’s fault that condo owners do not enjoy certain municipal services. It was the condo developer’s choice to lay out roadways so that they would be retained by the condominium corporation as a common element, not assumed by the municipality as public highways. Almost all the complained-of “injustices” that I have heard flow from the original choice to retain the roadways as private assets. They’re basically just long thin privately owned parking lots – all the infrastructure below them is privately owned, so why would anything to do with them be a city responsibility? As for the curb stops, I presume there is some sort of cost savings involved in only having a single municipal curb stop connecting to all of those buildings, so I don’t see why the other taxpayers should have to subsidize the savings enjoyed by the developer or condominium corporation.
I’m sorry, but the current tax regime just doesn’t strike me as unfair in any way. If people want condos with municipal services, they should demand that developers construct them in such a way, and they shouldn’t buy one that has the complained-of elements. What I find unfair is someone purchasing a condo, fully aware of the costs associated, and then complain that they are being treated unfairly and that everyone else has to pay more tax to subsidize their choices.
If you live in single detached home, it is quite natural that you wouldn’t see anything unfair with the current system.
Could it be that you pay lower taxes than you really should because condo tax payers subsidize your services and have for the last 40 years?
The first condominiums came into existence in Ontario in 1967. The property tax act was never amended to accommodate this form of home ownership when the original condo act came into being. The government should have created a residential tax class at that time. Simply because you argue that is the way it has always been does it make it right.
Condominiums are the fastest growing segment of the real estate market. One of the reasons for this is municipalities understand that condos are cost effective for them. Municipalities encourage development of these projects for this reason, knowing full well that services most people take for granted will not be extended to the people who choose to live there.
I acknowledge that it is a choice to live in a condo, and that buyers must make informed educated choices. I am also aware that changes will not be made to the property tax system unless we make our voices heard.
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