The high cost of rising home values

“We always look to improve our process and we welcome any review,” said spokesperson Joe Regina. The organization intends to implement all recommendations from the Auditor General, he said.

In response to Eng’s comments, Regina said: “Our assessments are reflective of trends in the real estate market, these are not arbitrary results. If a property owner feels that his assessment is not reflective, then they have the option of filing a request for a reconsideration which is free.”

There is some relief for seniors and for property tax owners who may be blindsided by sudden tax hikes.

The provincial government implemented changes that took effect in the 2009 property tax year that phased in any increases in taxes over four years. Decreases are not phased in. And seniors who qualify are also entitled to a tax relief grant instituted by the provincial government, with a maximum rebate of $500 for the 2010 tax year.

Donia says every little bit helps. Still, if taxes go up further next year, she plans to sell and move out.

“(The government) is not doing enough for people like me to stay in their homes. That’s the problem.”

© Toronto Star

Keywords: costs, housing, taxes