Residents of Lake View Terrace ask Town Council to Consider a Condo Tax Reduction

The residents of Lake View Terrace are asking the Town of St. Paul to reconsider how property taxes on condominiums are issued. Representative for Lake View Terrace, Donald Imeson, spoke says residents in condos do not receive the same services as residents of detached homes; thus the condo owners are asking for either a reduced tax rate or the same services as other taxed properties in the town.

“There’s some grave concerns, from the people who live there,” Imeson explains that each condo unit is taxed the same as any residential property. “We’re taxed as a residence, for instance, mine is a 1200 square foot apartment. It’s taxed at $2700 (annually). It’s taxed under a residential tax, there isn’t a special coding for it.” Imeson argues that the Town really benefits from condo buildings, “the footprint that the two condo [buildings] are on will bring in $150,000 in taxes. In the footprint that these two buildings are in, [a town] would only fit six houses. In six houses you may get $18,000 in taxes, with the condos you’re getting $150,000 in taxes,” argues Imeson.

There are two problems the condo owner find with paying the same amount of taxes as other residential properties.

  1. Not Equal Services: Condos have to supply their own garbage, no sidewalks and no snow removal. These services are paid by the condo residents.
  2. Condos are taxed twice: the Building and land are taxed to the developer/building owner and then each individual unit is taxed to the condo owner.

Other municipalities have a special lower tax rate for condos, argues Imeson, who owns a condo in the City of Edmonton. “Their tax on these types of buildings is taxed at 70% of what [St. Paul] is doing. The reason is there’s a condo association, we all pay in and it supplies the services. [The City of Edmonton] taxes at a different rate because of the services the condo board is providing.”

Imeson says the condo association would like to see the Town either pick up the services, such as garbage removal, or provide a reduced tax rate and have the condo board continue to provide those services. “It’s a lot of taxes collected, for no services whatsoever,” states Imeson. “What I am asking the Town to do, is to provide services or a compensated tax rate.”

The condo association recognizes that these types of buildings are new to St. Paul, “it’s a new problem for everyone.” Imeson says the residents are willing to work with the Town to find a solution.

The Town of St. Paul Council has directed Administration to research other communities, of comparable size and services, to St. Paul to discover how those municipalities handle residential taxes on condos. The Town has agreed to do some research and work with the residents of Lake View Terrace to discover if the claims are justified and if they are, if there is a solution.