Calgary landlords warn of repercussions following double-digit tax hikes

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WATCH: Calgary landlords are facing double-digit property tax hikes from the city and they’re not happy about it. Tomasia DaSilva reports on the backlash and what the repercussions could be.

Editor’s note: A previous version of the story quoted the property owner’s calculations on property tax. The City of Calgary has provided clarification on how to calculate the property tax increase.

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 for the near future went up from $1,074 a month to $1,559, which works out to an increase of 45 per cent.

The City of Calgary told Global News the increase in installment payments is not the same as the increase in property taxes, and that many people have miscalculated their property tax.

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The city says you have to compare the year-over-year total tax bill – not add up your installments because those can change over the year. Information can be found on their website here.

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


Calgary landlord hit with huge property tax bill

READ MORE: Calgary homeowners frustrated after getting hit with big property tax bills

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.

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“I can tell you that it’s all directed at city council. No one can believe that after five years in a recession and the COVID[-19 pandemic], that city council would be so thoughtless and uncaring.”

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.”

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READ MORE: Calgary business owner worried about looming property tax hike

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.”

“Is it possible to even pass this kind of increase on to tenants? I don’t think so,” she added.
Calgary landlord hit with huge property tax bill
Calgary landlord hit with huge property tax bill. Global Calgary

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.