Condos pay for services “for which we do not receive”


letter-to-editorI would also like to add to Terry Seawright’s letter of Feb 19th re the unequal taxation vs the services that Condominium owners receive in Norfolk County.
Mr. Seawright nicely summarized “condominium ownership” and the associated taxation frustrations in his letter. Our taxes for our 48 homes on Lakeshore Road pay for but do not receive services such as water lines, garbage pickup and hydrant flushes.
We realize that there are issues such as access to private property and liability for not providing these services. However, it still comes down to paying for services for which we do not receive. We understand from some of our original owners that the former City of Nanticoke recognized the difference in services with a different tax rate. Then, when the province introduced “current value assessment” this recognition went by the wayside.
This unequal taxation is a provincial problem, not just a local one. It is being recognized across the province with various municipalities giving recognition to these inequalities to Condominium Corporations. To date, our politicians in Norfolk have not been forthcoming with ending the inequality.
In 2012 we invited Councillor Wells to a Board meeting to outline our concerns and shared with him information on how other municipalities were dealing with the issue. Councillor Wells took away the information and said that he would get back to us. After a couple of emails asking for a reply he said that he was waiting for a report to council by staff. We are still waiting for his reply.
Our Corporation is made up of 48 individual homeowners who are paying over $6,000 a year for garbage pickup alone. We are on a relatively small footprint in terms of paved streets and sidewalks. The amount of tax revenue that the County has collected over the years for undelivered services amounts to a considerable sum and is growing year by year. Our politicians have the mantra of providing services but keeping tax increases low. It appears that when it comes to Condominiums they don’t mind making them pay for services they do not receive. It appears that they believe in low taxation but not fair taxation.
As we see more presentations to Council and letters to newspapers we are hopeful that our politicians will finally address this ongoing unfairness to the homeowners they serve.

Paul Fisher
President,
Lakeshore Bluff’s Estates, Norfolk Condominium Corp. #8,
Port Dover

Posted: March 19, 2014

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