17th Avenue business owner appeals 'crazy' 90% property tax hike
Bernard Drouin says increase is mainly due to million-dollar property assessment rise
City council's bid to help businesses deal with big jumps in property taxes outside of downtown is little consolation for one 17th Avenue store owner.
Bernard Drouin, owner of 17th Avenue Framing, says he's looking at a 90 per cent increase this year, which is primarily attributed to escalating property assessments.
In 2016, Drouin's Beltline property was assessed at $1.3 million. This year, that assessment jumped to $2.3 million — subsequently, causing his property tax to rise by 90 per cent.
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"I've seen 10 per cent, 15 per cent increases, but this year's is out of this world. It's crazy," Drouin said.
Drouin is taking his case to the assessment appeal review board. He doesn't yet know if he will qualify for his share of the $45-million assistance package city council approved earlier this year to help business owners cope with the shift in the tax burden to properties outside downtown.
The financial aid would limit Droin's taxes to 30 per cent, but only for this year.
"Next year, then that tax credit is no longer there. Next year, I'd be looking at 90 per cent increase from 2016 to 2018. So I guess it would be gradually — 30 per cent increase and the year after up to 90," he said.
Coun. Evan Woolley says with large assessed values changes to 17th Avenue, there's not much more the city can do.
"That support, while significant, will not help areas that are seeing these large development transactions take place, which have an impact on assessed values," he said.
Drouin isn't sure how he's going to deal with this increase. He says he's hoping he will win the appeal and he's trying to stay positive.
With files from Scott Dippel