I was interviewed by Global TV’s Mark Carcasole last week and thought I would expand a little more on my thoughts. Basically Tenant’s Rights Advocates Acorn have a nutty idea to charge buildings $5 per unit ($5 x 300,000 = $1,500,000) to post signs at building entrances
The city already has the Multi Residential Building Audit program which is a lot more effective than putting up signs. City Inspectors go to the building and give all the residents a sheet to report their problems and the owner has 30 days to fix it or fines are levied. Some of these problems have never been reported, but as management you have to go through the entire building with a fine tooth comb. One day the City of Toronto hypocrites will even go visit their own cockroach and bedbug infested slums and work on those problems instead of spending huge chunks of their budget on their headquarters.
While you can get me into a long conversation about the enormous problems with the City of Toronto’s housing policy you cannot begin to address any of the issues with housing without discussing money and budget and property taxes.
Tenants Actually Subsidize Home Owners.
Property tax rates in the city of Toronto on Multiresidential buildings are 1.7265482% and the tax on homeowner properties are 0.7056037%. The taxes on your average $1,000,000 house in Toronto would be $17,264 instead of the $7056 they currently are if homeowners paid the same rate as older multiresidential buildings.
Property developers have refused in the past (like any sane person would) to build rental buildings because of this inequitable tax system. Recently we have heard that condo sites like Kingsclub are converting to residential rental. Guess what? Toronto has changed their policy for new buildings and the tax rate for new rental buildings is 0.7056037% (exactly like homeowners and condos)
To make this super clear, tenants living in homes, homeowners, condo owners and new rental building tenants will all pay the lower rate but the people living in
run down bedbug infested, cockroach havens older buildings that require capital improvement (subject to legal rent increases) that represent most of the affordable housing in the city are paying the much higher tax in their rent.
But if the property taxes were reduced wouldn’t the “greedy landlords” just gobble up those reductions? Actually no. By law whenever the city reduces property taxes, all tenants in the affected building get the rent reduction on their rent.
So Acorn get cracking and deal with a real issue. Tax equalization for all residents of this city. It’s untenable that the fat cats at the city of Toronto are flapping their lips about the awful greedy landlords and their horrible building maintenance while simultaneously failing to maintain their own social housing at Toronto Housing and gouging the poorest of the poor in the old multi residential buildings.