LETTERS: Seniors paying price of owning

Open letter to Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner regarding property assessments.


Open letter to Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner.

My wife and I received a letter last month from BC Assessment advising that our property value has increased by 59 per cent.

Our assessment, in all honesty, may be a little high as it reflects values at the height of the unrealistic and unsustainable property boom of last July. Nevertheless, I understand this is not an exact science and I have not appealed this assessment.

We are pensioners on a fixed income, we have lived in our same home for over 25 years. We are happy to pay a reasonable amount of taxes in order to live in Canada and South Surrey, but draw the line at governments taking advantage of seniors because of an aberration in the housing economy.

We need to stop punishing senior homeowners who just want to stay in their homes and maintain their lifestyle. We don’t want to move from our neighbourhood at this stage of our lives in order to satisfy a potential tax grab.

I believe the whole property-tax situation requires an overhaul. It should be capped and linked to overall inflation rates, not just the housing market. It should allow for relief for seniors, not just tax deferrals or loans but real relief.

If the mill rate (City of Surrey Levies & Charges) remains the same as in 2016, then our property taxes will increase 59 per cent, or almost $250 more per month than last year.

We and our fellow Surrey taxpayers are not in a position to bear this increased cost and I hope you will take this into consideration when determining the 2017 property tax rates.

I hope that you will continue to press this issue and appreciate the work you have done for  this community over the years.

Gordon Thorne, Surrey