NDP MPP challenges premier on local assessments and MPAC

Michael Mantha MPP for Algoma—Manitoulin. File photo.

QUEEN’S PARK—In question period recently, Algoma-Manitoulin NDP MPP Michael Mantha said that Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has ignored the concerns of Northern Ontario families being priced out of their homes by property assessment increases that are hundreds of times above the provincial average.

Mr. Mantha was joined by 84-year-old Schreiber resident Annie Scott who is struggling to hold on to the house she has lived in for the past 50 years because of high property taxes that continue to increase year over year. Ms. Scott is one of 40 property owners on Walkers Lake that have been calling for change since 2016 but who continue to be let down by the Wynne provincial government.

“These residents have seen their MPAC assessments skyrocket by an average of 250 percent” said Mr. Mantha. “To compare, the provincial average increase is only 20 percent. Mrs. Scott’s house has been assessed almost $100,000 more than another nearby house twice its size. She says she can no longer afford to live in her home, but no one will buy it because of the high taxes.”

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Annie Scott and her family, Keith Scott and Sharon Garon, spoke at a press conference. Mr. Mantha said that Premier Wynne is failing Northern Ontario families, as property tax increases cripple families throughout the region.

“In 2016, farm assessments on Manitoulin Island doubled with no explanation,” said Mr. Mantha. “I can promise you that the income from these farms did not double. The Auditor-General revealed in her most recent report, property owners can’t count on the Assessment Review Board to treat them fairly.”