Property Tax Fairness Campaign


The Current Property Taxation System is Unfair to Condo Owners.
DEMAND CHANGE!!!

DID YOU KNOW

WHAT YOU CAN DO?

Email the provincial party leader:

info@brianpallister.com

WHAT YOU CAN SAY?

Here are some examples of things you can say to political leaders:

CCI is entering a new level of lobbying and it is important that all condominium owners get involved!

INTERESTED IN THE PROPERTY TAX ISSUE? FIND OUT MORE ABOUT OUR PLANS

Contact us at 204-794-1134 or email ccimanitoba@cci.ca

GET INVOLVED! Print and Sign this petition


Property Tax Fairness Campaign Update - May 2016

It has been a busy few months for the property tax campaign.  During the provincial election, we successfully raised the issue of property tax fairness.  CCI-Manitoba distributed 50,000 flyers targeting condominium owners.  While we reached out to all CCI members, we also targeted non CCI member condo owners.  Our outreach was successful and our events about property tax fairness in Brandon and in Winnipeg were very well attended. Thank you to all who attended!

At the sessions, we shared information about the current property tax system and how it is unfair to condominium owners.  We explained how the province controls the property tax system across Manitoba and for all types of properties.  We showed how condominium owners pay too much under the current system.

We encouraged condominium owners to speak to their provincial candidates about the issue and condo owners did!  We know because we heard from political candidates wanting more information on the issue.  We also had the chance to correct the perception that property taxes are just a municipal issue.  In fact, the system is set up and controlled by the province.

Now that the election is over, we will be pressing the provincial government more than ever to deliver on property tax fairness for condominium owners.  You can help by contacting your MLA and telling them that this issue matters to you.  Let them know that we expect action.

That is how we will achieve property tax fairness in Manitoba.  Thank you for your continued action and support.

PAUL HESSE, Partner, Pitblado Law

 


Property Tax Fairness Campaign Update - Feb 2016

We are now on the eve of the provincial election which will happen on April 19, 2016.  This campaign will be crucial to ensuring that we achieve property tax fairness for condominium owners across Manitoba.

Provincial cabinet decides what property tax rate portion applies to condominiums.  We believe that the portion is too high and is unjust.  We have been approaching the government and all parties in order to achieve the changes we believe are necessary for property tax fairness.

The current provincial government has done nothing to address the underlying unfairness of how property taxes are charged to condominium owners.  The opposition parties have shown more support for changes during our recent meetings with them. 

The Progressive Conservative party specifically mentioned condos in their Alternative Speech from the Throne in December 2015 and have expressed support for positive changes to the condominium property tax system and with respect to the new Condominium Act. 

The Manitoba Liberals have consistently expressed support for reducing the property tax portion paid by condo owners.

The NDP has not offered any property tax reductions for condominiums. Before election day, we will update you again on this important issue and the parties’ commitments.

As candidates come to your building seeking your vote, be sure to tell them that the property tax system is unfair to condominium owners.  We also encourage you to contact your local candidates. 

PAUL HESSE, Partner, Pitblado Law

 

Property Tax Fairness Campaign Update - Nov 2015

We are now less than six months away from the next provincial election on April 19, 2016.  The next months will be crucial to ensuring that we achieve property tax fairness for condominium owners across Manitoba.

Our current frustration with the property tax system stems from provincial decisions.  Provincial cabinet decides what tax rate portion applies to condominiums.  We believe that portion is too high and is unjust.

The current provincial government has done nothing to address the underlying unfairness of how property taxes are charged to condominium owners.  The opposition parties have shown more support for changes during our recent meetings with them.  However, we are looking for strong, binding commitments from them before the election.  We are continuing to meet with the opposition in order to secure that strong commitment.

By the election campaign we will be sharing with you how the parties have responded to our concerns and what commitments they have made for condominium owners.  We want to educate CCI members so that you know where the parties stand before you vote.

Of course, candidates will be coming to your building and to your community seeking your vote. Be sure to tell them that the property tax system is unfair to condominium owners.  Let them know that the property tax system and rules are provincially regulated and that this is an important provincial issue for you and for your vote.  It is important that the candidates know that this issue matters to you.  Please bring it up with them.

As we gear up for the election, we need your help.  Our numbers and your vote are what will influence the political parties.  We have a real chance to achieve the property tax fairness we have been fighting for.  Please stay focused in the coming months on this issue and together we can achieve the property tax reduction that condominium owners deserve. Thank you.

PAUL HESSE, Partner, Pitblado Law


Property Tax Fairness Campaign Update - Aug 2015

We are now less than a year away from the next provincial election.  Candidates will be coming to your building and to your community seeking your vote. 

Be sure to tell them that you feel the property tax system is unfair to condominium owners.  Let them know that the property tax system and rules are provincially regulated and that this is an important provincial issue for you. 

We will be sending information packages to all nominated candidates and all the political parties and we wil be conducting a survey to see how they respond to our concerns.  We will, by the election campaign, share the results of the survey with our members to help educate you before you vote.

As we gear up for the election, we need your help.  Are you involved in a provincial campaign?  Do you have contacts who are organizing campaigns or writing policy for a campaign or for a political party?

If so, then we would like to reach out to those who are writing the policies and platforms for the upcoming campaign, as well as the lead organizers of the campaigns.  If you have information on how to contact those people, please contact our campaign by emailing hesse@pitblado.com or calling Paul at 204-956-3561.  We want to take advantage of every opportunity to influence the upcoming campaign and the policies of the parties seeking our votes.

We are focused on seeing property tax fairness for condominium owners and we need your help.  Thank you.

PAUL HESSE, Partner, Pitblado LLP


Property Tax Fairness Campaign Update - May 2015

Since the municipal elections in October, we have been engaging with municipal politicians in order to build on campaign promises to assist with our property tax campaign.  In particular, we have followed up with Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman.  At the Mayor’s office’s request, the Property Tax Committee was invited to meet with Councillor John Orlikow, Winnipeg’s Chair of the Standing Committee on Property and Development.  That meeting with productive and friendly and Councillor Orlikow said, following our briefing and meeting, that he was better informed about our concerns and the issue.  He also promised to speak with administration officials about our request and to report back to the committee soon.  We will keep you updated with any progress in our discussions with the City of Winnipeg.

The most recent City of Winnipeg budget was relatively condominium friendly.  While there was a property tax increase, the percentage increase paid by all properties was reduced by two levies: the frontage levy and the recycling pick-up levy.  Both of those levies are condominium friendly, because condominiums on average share a relatively short street frontage and have only one recycling pickup per condominium complex.  During our meeting with Councillor Orlikow we discussed how density can be encouraged and better property tax fairness for condominiums achieved by relying less on property tax increases and more on such levies. 

Our goal however remains to lower the property tax portion paid by all condominiums in Manitoba.  That remains a decision for Manitoba’s provincial cabinet to make.  So far, they have been unwilling to make the changes we request.  So, while we continue to work to convince the province to change its position, we will work with municipal governments to achieve some condominium property tax progress.  We are making some progress, but more results are wanted and needed.

Please engage with provincial candidates who will be campaigning for your votes in the coming year.  Please make sure they know that you want property tax fairness for condominiums throughout Manitoba and that provincial leadership is needed on the issue. Thank you for your ongoing support for the campaign and please watch the next newsletter for further updates and for further ways to participate as the provincial election nears. 

PAUL HESSE, Partner, Pitblado LLP


Property Tax Fairness Campaign Update - Feb 25, 2015

During the recent municipal elections in Manitoba, CCI Manitoba’s property tax campaign engaged municipal politicians in our efforts to reduce the property tax portion paid by condominium owners.

In the City of Winnipeg, we sent a letter and survey to all Mayoral and Council candidates.  We explained our position and asked them questions that included whether they would help us advocate to the province for fairer condominium property taxes and whether they would support a by-law effectively lowering the property tax portion charged to condominium owners.  We then shared their answers with CCI members in order to help them make an informed decision on election day.

Outside of Winnipeg, we supported campaign volunteers who asked for help engaging local candidates.  In the Rural Municipality of Springfield, our volunteers were very engaged and the campaign communicated extensively with the Reeve and Council candidates.  The newly elected Reeve Bodnaruk is supportive of our campaign (as was the outgoing Reeve).  Some of the incoming councillors are as well. 

In the City of Winnipeg, Brian Bowman was the Mayoral candidate who was most supportive of our campaign.  In his response to our survey, he stated that he would be willing to advocate to the Province to lower the property tax portion paid by condominiums.  He also stated that he would support a municipal by-law to lower the property tax portion charged to condominiums in Winnipeg.  He has now been elected the new Mayor of Winnipeg.  Since the election, he has confirmed his support for our efforts to our campaign’s coordinator.  We have now formally requested a meeting with his office to meet to move forward on the issue.  We eagerly await that meeting in order to discuss with the Mayor concrete steps to achieving property tax fairness in Manitoba.

With the support of municipal leaders like Mayor Bowman and Reeve Bodnaruk, we are gaining momentum and important allies.  We intend to build on these commitments in order to achieve our goal.

PAUL HESSE, Partner, Pitblado LLP


A Review and Update on the Property Tax Fairness Campaign

We have now created an online petition which you can find by clicking HERE  Please help us spread the word and gather even more signatures!

Since the last Annual General Meeting, the Property Tax Fairness Campaign has been very active.  Hundreds of calls, emails and letters were delivered to Minister Stuthers and we have gathered approximately 1000 signatures for our petition.   We are grateful to all of our volunteers for their support for the campaign. Thanks to everyone who participated.

We met with Minister Stan Struthers, Manitoba Minister of Municipal Government as well as the Deputy Minister and Assistant Deputy Minister for the department.  While the meeting was cordial, they made no commitments during the meeting and we have received no follow up action from them since the meeting.

We did receive a request from the opposition to contribute to their policy making process for the next election.  We will be engaging with all three provincial parties as they prepare for the next provincial election.  We want a solution for all Manitoba condo owners and this requires action at the provincial level.  So far, the opposition has shown more interest in the issue than the government.  But we want action to lower the property tax rate paid by condominium owners and not just discussions.

In order to achieve results, we also think it is time to engage our municipal politicians.  There are municipal elections taking place across Manitoba in October 2014.  Now is the best time to raise awareness with municipal candidates of the pressing need for property tax fairness.

Please tell your council and Mayoral candidates that you believe that the property tax system is unfair to condominium owners.  Detached homes and condominiums should not be taxed at the same rate.  Please tell them that their position on this issue will affect your vote. 

The Property Tax Fairness Campaign will be contacting all candidates to share information with them.  We will also be asking them their position on property taxes for condominiums.  We will be sharing the results with you before you vote in the municipal election in October!  Watch your next communication from CCI-Manitoba for more information on how the candidates responded.

Thank you for your continued support for property tax fairness!

PAUL HESSE, Pitblado LLP

Call or email your MLA today and tell them that you are not happy with the property taxes paid by condominium owners!

 

News on the Property Tax Fairness Campaign

Thank you to all our volunteers and letter writers!!

The Property Tax Committee, working with Paul Hesse, continues to attempt to enlighten and engage provincial legislators regarding the campaign on behalf of condominium owners to bring about fair property tax amendments.

While Minister Lemieux, when he was Minister of Local Government, did not support the condominium property tax reform issue, his successor, Minister Stan Struthers, has been more prepared to keep an open mind and attempt to hear the concerns and valid points raised by condominium owners.

On Tuesday, April 8th, 2014, Paul Hesse and I had the opportunity to meet with Minister Struthers, Minister of Municipal Government. We found Minister Struthers and his staff to be very welcoming and interested in the information we were providing them. We believe that he and his staff are beginning to understand the concerns and inequities of the current property tax portioning.

We continue to educate the Government on a number of facts such as;

  1. One study showed that condo residents paid an average of 57-84% more per person in property tax as compared to per person in a single family home.
  2. The current property tax system is regressive. It results in higher property tax per person in a condo as well as higher taxes as a percentage of income for condo owners.
  3. Unfair tax proportion discourages density efficiencies and construction, as well as negatively impacts housing and rental choices.

You, as a condominium owner or professional, can help the Property Tax Committee and CCI reach this goal by continuing to write letters and make phone calls to the Ministers and, in particular, Minister Struthers.

We need to let them know this matter will not go away until it receives the concerted  and serious consideration it deserves, not just for the benefit of condominium owners, but for all residents of Manitoba and the long-term growth of our province.

Please contact Minister Struthers and thank him for meeting with the Property Tax Committee of CCI, Manitoba Chapter and let him know that we are hoping he will give the condominium property tax reform issue due consideration. Now that he has heard our position on the current regressive tax system, I am sure he would like to know that you appreciate any assistance he may offer.

Minister Stan Struthers can be reached via phone at 204-945-3788 or by mail to:

Room 301, Legislative Building, 450 Broadway, Winnipeg, MB, R3C 0V8.

One of our closing comments to Minister Struthers was that one thing was for certain about condominium owners, they are resolved to not let this matter  go away and they are very vocal and engaged with this matter; they will get their point across.

Let’s continue to put the pressure on until we have helped them to recognize the need for progressive tax reform. 

BRENDA BRYDGES, ACCI
Chair, Property Tax Committee
CCI Manitoba Chapter


News On the Property Tax Fairness Campaign

Thank you to all of our volunteers who have been assisting the campaign!  Condo owners have distributed flyers, made phone calls, sent emails and collected signatures on petitions in support of property tax fairness campaign.  Thank you to everyone who has helped so far!

We have been disappointed by the response so far by our provincial government.  Last year, we wrote to Minister Ron Lemieux, provincial Minister of Local Government reponsible for the property tax system in Manitoba.  We requested a meeting to discuss property tax fairness for condominium owners.  He replied that he did not have the time to meet with representatives from the campaign.  He also wrote that when Manitoba increased the property tax portion paid by condominium owners from 32.7% to 45% of fair market value, this removed the “inequity” of taxing detached homes and condominiums at different rates.  He also suggested that the significant increase in market values that condominiums have experienced is a sign that the current system is fine.

Then, the Premier shuffled his cabinet and we received two new Ministers.  Minister Stan Struthers is now responsible for Local Government (outside of Winnipeg) and Minister Kevin Chief is responsible for the City of Winnipeg.  We wrote to both of them and asked for a meeting to discuss the condominium property tax system.  On behalf of the provincial government, Minister Struthers has written that “due to other commitments, I am not able to meet with your organization on this matter.”  He also writes that “I can advise that the Province is not contemplating changes to the assessment and tax framework for condominiums at this time.” View a copy of Minsiter Struther's letter of response here.

It is disappointing that Manitoba’s Minister has declined to meet with CCI.  We believe our provincial government’s representative should find time for a meeting with representatives of the Property Tax Committee.  We are acting on behalf of well over 20,000 condo residents in Winnipeg alone and thousands more outside of Winnipeg.

Please help us to continue to press for property tax fairness for condominium owners. Call or email your MLA and tell them that you are not happy with the property taxes paid by condominium owners!

Please also call or email the Premier’s office to express your displeasure that his Minister will not meet with representatives of the condominium community about condominium property taxes.

Premier Selinger’s office number is 204-945-3714 and his email is premier@leg.gov.mb.ca

Thank you for your ongoing support for condominium property tax fairness!  Together we will achieve improvements to the condominium property tax system.

PAUL HESSE, PITBLADO LLP
204-956-3561
hesse@pitblado.com

You can find the contact information for your MLA here:

http://www.gov.mb.ca/hansard/members/pf/electoral_pf.pdf


News on the Property Tax Fairness Campaign

Thank you to all of our volunteers who have been assisting the campaign!  Condo owners have been distributing flyers, making phone calls and sending emails in support of property tax fairness.  Thank you to everyone who has helped so far!

If flyers have not been distributed in your building yet, please contact Paul Hesse so he can make arrangements for delivery.

We have been disappointed by the initial response by our provincial government.  We wrote to Minister Ron Lemieux, Provincial Minister of Local Government reponsible for the property tax system in Manitoba.  We requested a meeting to discuss property tax fairness for condominium owners.  He replied that he did not have the time to meet with representatives from the campaign.

Minister Lemieux also wrote that when Manitoba increased the property tax portion paid by condominium owners from 32.7% to 45% of fair market value, this removed the “inequity” of taxing detached homes and condominiums at different rates.

He went on to say that the common-element charges that condo owners pay is similar to the upkeep that single family homeowners are responsible for on the property that they own.  He also suggested that the significant increase in market values that condominiums have experienced is a sign that the current system is fine.

Click here to view a copy of the letter from Minister Lemieux.

It is too bad that Minister Lemieux did not agree to meet with CCI.  There has now been a cabinet shuffle and Minister Lemieux’s role has been divided into two cabinet positions.  Minister Kevin Chief is  responsible for the City of Winnipeg and Minister Stan Struthers is responsible for all other local governments.  We have now written to both Minister Kevin Chief and Minister Stan Struthers to request a meeting.

We would like to sit down and talk about these issues briefly with our elected government.  Our concerns include that the same size of lot can be taxed 10 or 20 times higher for condominiums than for detached homes.  This makes little sense when housing density is more efficient for government service delivery.  We would also like an opportunity to show how condominiums often use and receive fewer public services than detached homes.  We would like the chance  to show that condos are usually responsible for more upkeep than detached homeowners.

We would also like to share examples from Manitoba’s past and from other provinces where adjustments have been made to property taxes where services differ.  Manitoba recently reduced the property tax portion paid by post-secondary education institutions.  So, there are precedents for what we are requesting.

This is not just a City of Winnipeg issue, this affects every condo in the province including municipalities like Brandon, Gimli, Lockport, Niverville and Steinbach.

We acknowledge that condominium owners do benefit from government services, such as policing and fire protection.  We are not asking to pay no property taxes, we are just asking to pay fair property taxes!

So please help us to continue to press for property tax fairness for condominium owners.Please call or email your MLA and tell them that you are not happy with the property taxes paid by condominium owners.

We currently have a petition circulating which you can download here, should you have any questions regarding the petition  please contact me at your convenience,my  contact information is also listed above.

Thank you for your support for condominium property tax fairness!

Paul Hesse, Pitblado LLP



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