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Opinion: ‘We pay your damn property taxes so let us park,’ Burnaby renters tell homeowner

Renters give homeowner an earful
iStock photo

The response to my Thursday column about a Burnaby homeowner complaining about renters parking in front of his house was instantaneous and angry.

You can read more here in the column, but the key line from Ted – who blocks parking spaces out front of his home with orange cones - was this: “We paid big property taxes while renters don’t and then take up all of the parking on local streets.”

Renters, however, disagree.

“We pay your damn property taxes so let us park,” wrote Sarah, a South Burnaby renter.

“I just wanted to point out that renters pay property taxes and every other kind of tax that the owner of a home does, even interest on the property owner's mortgages, not directly but indirectly when they pay rent to a landlord,” wrote First Last. “The simplest example of that would be if the complainer was to rent out their home. The rent is meant to cover all the owner's operating expenses which includes taxes as well as provide income over and above expenses. Multi-occupant buildings are no different from single family homes. The city charges their owners taxes, which are divided up and passed on as a portion of the rent.”

The vitriol continued.

“Where Ted says renters don’t pay property taxes, as a renter I have to weigh my opinion: while directly, renters do not pay property taxes, we do pay an exorbitant amount of rent that landlords can make up how much they want, in some cases between 2-3 basement suites, paying the mortgage and then some, we do often pay the property taxes indirectly,” wrote Tom. “Also, if I see cones out, I’ll remove them to save the homeowners a bylaw fine. Being a good neighbour and all.”

And this from Raymond: “I am not wading into the argument about street parking but the homeowner argument that renters do not pay property taxes is fallacious: while they don’t pay directly, they pay the homeowner rent which indirectly covers property taxes.”

Yes, Ted did indeed get an earful and deservedly so.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.