LETTERS: Homeowners, renters adrift

Editor:

As I pay my property taxes, I can’t help but wonder how our government has allowed the inflated housing market to go unchecked.

Editor:

As I pay my property taxes this year, I can’t help but wonder how our government has allowed the inflated housing market to go unchecked.

My husband and I are not members of the wealthy elite, nor are we real-estate moguls who own several investment properties. We are senior citizens who have worked hard all our lives, raised our family and saved for our retirement.

It is our misfortune to find ourselves living in an area that is being systematically bought up by foreign investors. As a result, I find myself paying $2,000 more in taxes than I did last year, due to a property assessment that caused us to lose our Home Owner Grant and additional seniors grant.

Even more devastating than the increase to our taxes is the effect of property inflation on the younger generations. After completing their higher education and training programs to establish a career, they find themselves in a hopeless situation where owning a home is a pipe dream. Instead of building equity in a home, they will be spending their wage-earning years in a rental situation.

The wealthy one-percenters of China have been buying up land in our country for years, resulting in an unrealistic real-estate market in which Canadians cannot compete.

We have three levels of government, none of which have done anything to alleviate this situation.

Higher property values translate to increased tax revenue. Is that why our government has been dragging its heels about a remedy?

Taxing foreign investors to the point that it is no longer lucrative for them could be one solution. Many other countries have refused to sell to off-shore investors.

Can we not do the same?

As for the municipal government, raising the assessed value of properties that lose the Home Owner Grant and additional grant would be an easy option to relieve the tax burden on Canadians.

Throughout my life, I have always paid my taxes willingly. This year, I do so with anger and resentment.

Darleen Clay, Surrey