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Tenants and Landlords for Fair Taxation
Stop Paying Unfair Taxes
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(Updated April 15, 2010)

The Current Status

On April 14, 2010, a majority of Ottawa City Councillors decided to leave the apartment tax rate at 1.7 times the homeowners’ tax rate. That means that through our rents, tenants pay 70% more property taxes than if rental buildings were taxed fairly.

Most tenants’ taxes are to increase by 4% in 2010 (over their 2009 taxes). Since that is substantially above the rent increase guideline, many landlords will be able to apply for above-guideline rent increases. Such tax-driven rent increases are routinely approved by the Landlord and Tenant Board.

The following City Councillors voted to keep making tenants pay 1.7 times the tax rate that homeowners pay: Brooks, Bellemare, Bloess, Deans, Desroches, El-Chantiry, Harder, Jellet, Monette, Qadri and Wilkinson. To send an email to tell those Councillors you are not happy with their vote, click here.

The following City Councillors voted for tax fairness for tenants: Bédard, Chiarelli, Cullen, Feltmate, Holmes, Hume, Hunter, Leadman and Legendre. To send an email to thank those Councillors, and ask for their continued support, click here.

Mayor O’Brien and Councillors Thompson, Doucet and McRae were absent for the vote.

Thank you to tenants who emailed or telephoned Councillors.

It is unfortunate that only 9 City Councillors voted to move toward tax fairness for tenants in 2010. We hope that more tenants will speak out, so that we can achieve a better result in 2011 after the municipal election.

History

Tenants and Landlords for Fair Taxation (TLFT) is a group of tenants and landlords working together to bring multi-residential property taxes in line with taxes paid by homeowners in the City of Ottawa.

As a tenant, you pay property taxes through your rent. In a building of 7 units or more, about 14% to 16% of your rent goes to pay property taxes, when it should be only about 10%. This means you are paying $30 to $60 each month more in rent than is fair. Your landlord has to collect that extra rent and send it to the City of Ottawa in property taxes.

In 2006, City Council reduced the multi-residential tax ratio from 2.152 to 1.8. As a result, many tenants avoided rent increases due to tax increases, and more than 5,000 tenants saw rent reductions due to tax decreases.

In 2009, tenants spoke out and avoided a tax increase like the one tenants are facing this year. For more details, click here.