TORONTO – Reacting to news of Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow’s plan to hike property taxes by more than 10%, the 9 or so people that collectively own all Toronto real estate expressed outrage, saying that Chow is making the city unaffordable.
“This city is expensive enough,” said the landlord who owns everything south of Front Street. “For the mayor to then turn around and raise property taxes knowing that I’m obviously going to immediately pass on that cost to my tenants is truly unconscionable.”
“Sure I can only raise the rent so much every year, but if tenants don’t play ball let’s just say I’ve got a cousin moving from overseas who’s going to need their place,” he added.
Members of the small handful of people that own most of Toronto’s houses, townhouses and condos expressed concern that the tax hikes would have a disruptive effect on their cash flow.
“For the odd person here and there who owns a property not owned by me, this is going to cost them another $300-$600 a year, or about $25-$50 a month,” explained a property manager for the consortium who own the west end. “For someone in our situation, this is going to cost us millions of dollars. How am I going to explain to my bosses that we’re going to make slightly less money this year?”
Others were more pointed in their criticism, calling the abrupt property tax hikes “reckless”, and poorly thought out.
“People are struggling to put food on the table, pay their car bills or, in my case, attain the exponential growth that investors have come to expect from REITs no matter what, and this property tax hike isn’t going to help any of us with our equally relatable problems,” said a private investment fund manager who controls Scarborough and most of Leaside.
“It’s almost like they don’t want massive private investment from outside Canada controlling the market of the country’s largest city?” he added.
At press time, Toronto area home improvement stores have already reported a marked uptick in the sale of cheap paint brushes, ladders, plastic tarps, wall mounted shelving, and other mainstays of performatively large renovations that result in the property looking the exact same.