Although property values for most homes in St. John's have increased between 11 and 27 per cent since the last assessment three years ago, an 89-year-old homeowner living off Mount Scio Road says his assessment has gone up a whopping 119 per cent.
John McCabe said he has been living on Pitcher's Path since the late 1950s and was the first person to build on the street.
"There was no road up here, just a footpath. So I put the road here, cut the trees, pulled the stumps… and kept it open 25 years before anyone else built here," he said.
And he still doesn't get city water and sewer.
But now, as Pitcher's Path has become a new area for luxury homes, he's facing a property tax bill on his modest home usually reserved for the rich and powerful.
McCabe's assessment for his home used to be $378,600, but, with the 2016 assessment, its value has jumped to a staggering $827,400.
His tax bill now sits at $6,500 a year.
"That's an awful lot of money. It's just as bad as when I was trying to pay it off," said McCabe, who attributes the increase to the size of the land on his property.
Not looking to sell
News of a property value increase might be good news for homeowners looking to sell, but McCabe said he has no intention of selling his home at 89 years old.
"I don't want to sell because, for what time I got left now, which is probably not very much, I'd like to spend out here."
He said the market in St. John's isn't what it was just a couple of years ago anyway.
"All day long, I was tired of answering the phone, answering the door, scores of people, and the price never meant a thing. They wanted the land, that was it, but the bottom dropped right out." said McCabe
"Last year, not one person [came by], not one."
City offered few condolences
McCabe's daughter, Dulcie Coombs, fought back tears as she described the calls she made to the city on her father's behalf.
"I said, 'What about if he appeals?' And [the city official] said, 'Well, he'll probably have to pay more because we downsize as much as we can and if it's reassessed it'll probably go up higher.'"
Even with the increased property value, Coombs said her father has no plans to sell.
"It's his property. He's not intending to sell. He doesn't want to sell. He wants to die here."
McCabe's friend who lives up the road, Mark Blundon, said that the city offered McCabe few condolences when they spoke with them.
"When he called the city, he was told whoever inherits the land can develop it into several lots and make money on it," said Blundon
"He's still alive, so it's a bit much. It turned my stomach really."
McCabe's rising home assessment comes as many other property owners in the city are taking umbrage with their assessed property values and filing appeals.
Number of appeals up significantly
Compared to the last time property assessments were released in 2013, appeals have increased significantly.
The City of St. John's said there's been 1,070 residential appeals and 300 commercial appeals in 2016, compared to 710 and 210 in 2013.
While McCabe may be hesitant about filing an appeal, he said he would like to see something done about the rising property assessments as soon as possible.
"I think they should get their act together and try to figure out what's going on because there's something gone wrong somewhere."
"There's nothing right about that."