Gord Perks says Ford budget “screwed” tenants, sadly does not prompt “yo momma” responses

Gord Perks says Ford budget “screwed” tenants, sadly does not prompt “yo momma” responses

Councillor Gord Perks (Image: Tsar Kasim) 

In truth, we think too much ink is spilled pining for civility in politics. Some great parliamentary moments have been precipitated by heckling from the back benches. So we’re kind of pleased to see Gord Perks use a bit of language that might otherwise have some people clutching their pearls. According to the Toronto Sun, Perks responded to the latest detail out of the budget process by saying tenants have been “screwed.”

Based on current value assessment, multi-residential properties will see a decrease of about 3.1% decrease in the average assessment. The assessments are a key factor in calculating property tax bills.

However, the city’s long-standing policy to reduce the impact of CVA on businesses, apartments will only see an average decrease of about 2.5%.

Perks charged tenants were being robbed of a tax break.

“The tenants essentially are being told because your building is falling apart and getting older, because the city hasn’t forced enough work on repairs yet, because your standard of living is declining, because no one wants to buy the building you live in, we’re going to screw you on the tax side,” he said.

As the Sun and budget chief Mike Del Grande note, this city policy isn’t new. And given that the dollar difference we’re talking about here is $12 this year according to the Toronto Star, and that taxes for tenants will still be going down by almost $50 this year, this isn’t exactly Boston Tea Party material (the historical Tea Party, not the new one).

That said, we will be adding this to our growing “renters can’t get a break” file. Whether it’s politics or the market, owning a home seems to come with a lot of privileges. It’s almost enough to make a person swear.

• City budget unfair to tenants: Councillor [Toronto Sun]
Tenant property taxes unfair, critics say [Toronto Star]