Changing neighbourhoods: Demovictions, heritage, and taxes
In the news this week …
No Vacancy: The face of Metrotown “demovictions”
Vancouver, BC, Canada / News Talk 980 CKNW | Vancouver’s News. Vancouver’s Talk
CKNW News Staff, June 01, 2016, Simon Little and Matt Lee
“Imagine being forced to move twice in two years, your home sold out from under you and replaced by towering high rises with rents two to three times what you were paying?
That’s the story of Don and Eleanor Gorman, and it’s symbolic of hundreds of others in their Metrotown neighbourhood, an area changing rapidly under a wave of development.”
Saving Port Moody heritage one house at a time
Tri-City News, June 2, 2016
For sale signs dot the landscape in Moody Centre and with the Evergreen Line on its way through Port Moody, the city is about to undergo a major transformation.
Home to one of the most eclectic collections of pre-war and First and Second World War housing in the region, the area is becoming ground zero for redevelopment.
Letter: Port Moody property tax shock ‘nauseating’
Tri-City News, June 2, 2016
In approving a 4.98% tax increase, Port Moody council predicted average taxes in 2016 would go up by $148 on average based on a home assessed at $643,000.
Now, everyone is getting their tax bills and the sticker shock is nauseating.
My property taxes went up 13% ($415) and a neighbour’s went up a whopping 21% ($645), and it appears there is no end in sight to municipal waste and skyrocketing property taxes.
Governments love to talk about sustainability but, in reality, they could not be further from the truth. Only the very rich will be able to afford a house at these rates and not one politician seems to care or have the desire to put a stop to spiralling taxes and out-of-control population growth.
Rick Evon, Port Moody
Update, June 8, 2016:
[Ed. note: In Port Moody, the “average” tax increase of $148 is based on an “average” home value of $643,000. The average is skewed by the large increase in multi-family strata units in Port Moody over the past decade, which are typically (with exceptions) less costly than single-family homes (SFH). Any type of home assessed significantly over the theoretical average has seen much higher tax increases. Moody Centre assessments for SFH went up more than 20% in one year alone — following several years of double-digit increases — and are well above the “average” used for tax calculations.]
Metro Vancouver property taxes go through the roof
Kelly Sinoski, Vancouver Sun, June 7, 2016
Moody Centre resident in front of Kyle Community Centre
“Such tax tales are common across Metro Vancouver as skyrocketing prices play havoc with property assessments, especially for single-family detached homes, prompting mayors to call on the provincial government to allow different tax rates (known as mill rates) for houses and condominiums. All residential properties in B.C., whether single- or multi-family, are covered by one city-wide mill rate.
In fast-growing Port Moody, which has one of Metro’s highest property tax increases this year, some homeowners are getting big bills. Neighbours Rick Evon and Craig Berezowski expected to see a 4.98-per-cent boost (an extra $149 for the year) tacked onto the annual notices. But they were shocked to see increases of 13 per cent and 21 per cent, respectively.
Evon’s property taxes increased by $415, while Berezowski’s rose by $645, yet they say they haven’t seen any additional municipal services.
“When people got their bills, it said (property taxes) would go up $149. I feel we were misled,” said Evon. “When you start thinking, ‘I want to be here for the long-term, but am I going to be able to afford living here in the next eight years?’”