City Billing Scandal – Toronto billed 44,000 homowners extra $87 millions for property taxes

Homeowners awoke to find they’d had double their normal property taxes withdrawn

CBC.ca

Some Torontonians awoke to a nasty surprise Wednesday morning — the city had taken an extra $87-million in property taxes from homeowners’ accounts.

More than 44,000 property owners were affected by the mistake, which double-billed those who signed up for the city’s twice-yearly and bi-monthly authorized payment plans.

The city learned what happened when residents began calling about their much emptier accounts, according to the head of revenue services.

Computer glitch bills thousands twice for Toronto property taxes 
Toronto taxpayers double-billed on property tax after pre-authorization snag 

Should you be surprised?

You shouldn’t.

Such a glitch is really Mickey Mouse going by what is going on with the senior administration of the City of Toronto … Wait till you read what happened to a poor soul who has been battling posing of safety risks to the general public by Toronto Building officials for years. You would probably concur the City administration system is broken, and the situaion is simply preposterous, to say the least.

In fact, the billing glitch is not even a scandal if the safety risks posed to public irresponsibly by a selected few is anything to go by. The billing glitch has in fact has proven the City (armed with phenomenal resources funded by taxpayer dollars) is totally capable of correcting the wrong efficiently, as evident by the fact that the issue has been resolved in mere hours.

However, there is practically nothing the general public can do in the event malpractice were to involve a senior staff appointed by the City Council. According to th poor souls experience, even if it involves grave matters like public life/injury risks.

Reason?

It is precisely for the same reason why the billing glitch could be resolved so swiftly – the City got phenomenal resources. For example, there are hundreds of lawyers employed by the City. And did you know even though the lawyers are under payroll funded by the public, taxpayers are not allowed to seek legal clarifications (forget about advice) for critical issues as serious as public life/injury risks. The lawyers are there only to serve the City Council and the City staffs. You may not believe it, they are also supposed to defend any wrongdoing commited by the staffs vigorously against the general public.

In another word, the public who has been victimized either as a result of negligence or malpractice by City staffs will not stand a chance to have the wrong remedied. Well, not to mention legal action is beyond reach for most ordinary folks, even you can afford to enage a competent lawyer, what are your chances battling against an army of lawyers that are numbered in the hundreds with unlimited resources?

we have studied some past cases. Other than injuries and lawsuits of similar nature, the public generally will simply got wiped out in the legal proceedings. The reason is very simple, it is not just about the number of lawyers and the unlimited funding, the City is also staffed with or have access to all kind of experts and professionals that you either can’t afford, or simply won’t be able to engage one.

Planners are one such example. These group of professionals are classified as “experts” under the current legal regime. Their interpretation of the Zoning Bylaw (ZBL), which is basically their personal opinion that does not has to be substantiated by solid facts/evidence are considered as holy truth when it come to development matters. As long as they say a development is “appropriate”, tribunal such as Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) or even the Supreme Court will have to accept that is the case, even what they say is absurd or can be scientifically proven wrong.

The only way to challenge a Planner’s “expert opinion” is to engage a Planner to testify on your behalf. However, that won’t happen because once the City determined who they would like to win the case, only the “favoured” party will get to have a Planner. No planner in town will represent you even you make them an out of ordinary offer. Why? No one can afford to face the wrath of the “Lord” – The City official with vested interest, be it political or personal.

The other even more terrifying “experts” are  the Building Official. These staffs virtually operate on their own realm. They are technically governed by no law. How so? They are at the City to execute Ontario Building Code Act, which is a provincial law. And they are given all the authority to make decision even if it is against the municipal bylaw or common law. And just like Planners, Buildng Officials can interpret the Building Code practically at their whim and fancy. For example, they may decide to erect a safety hazards right in front of your house, and if queried, they may just say “Our posistion is the building permit has been issued correctly”.

The worst part is they will not be held accountable for their action. They can just tell you their decision is final and they will not allowed any further query (even what they said are false or nonsense). Period. Can you not complain all the way to the Mayor to rectify the situation? Dream on. Everyone in the City from the divisional managers all the way to the City Manager (FYI, the Mayor is not a part of the City administration) will just either ignore you, or they will eventually tell you there is nothing they can do, even though it is their duty to do so. They will most likely tell you to sue the City – And you have been informed what will happen should you choose to go this route without understandng the system completely – You will end up burning a hole in yiour pocket and achieve nothing.

Even you managed to win the lawsuit, no one will have to be accountable for anything. The Building Ofiicial, the Planner, and the City are insured againt legal costs. Again, paid for by taxpayers. Life goes on for the senior staffs, they will continue to get all the perks, bonus and salaries that has been going up north generously in the past many years. The only loser victim is the public – you.

Scandalous Series of the City of Toronto coming soon

You will provided with intriguing facts and evidence in the scandal we are about to expose in a voluminius series as unbelievable as “Harry Potter”. The scandalous series shall be simply entitled “City Hall Scandal”, starting with City Hall Scandal Part 1: Toronto is where you may build a garage with a carport permit. But it’s not coming to a theater in your neighbourhood. Because there is no funding for that yet.

Judging from the poor soul’s experience dealing with various divisions at the municipality, it will be reasonable to say people are naturally born good. And to be fair, the City of Toronto as a whole is stuffed by professional, diligent, courteous staffs. However, the same cannot be said about certain senior staffs. And looking at the matter from an impartial perspective based on the poor soul’s account, it would appear those responsible for posing safety risks to the general public will have no qualms to sell their mother down to the river. In this case, the word “mismanagemnet” is probably an understatement.

Of course, an allegation remains an allegation until proven true. In this case, all the “allegations” are actually truth substantiated by facts and evidence. Which the City either did not, or unable to refute. The poor soul managed to prove the matter beyond reasonable doubt that something seriously wrong and harmful to the general public is taking place for years. Yet the City management chose to do nothing, even though they are legally obligated to prevent safety risks from happening.

In another word, the system is broken, the public will be facing safety risks perpetually, and there is no accountability whatsoever … Sound like a third world situtaion? You betcha.

Is the City administration already rotten to the core? We hope not.

It is for this reason, we decided to help to disseminate the story, hoping our efforts will bring positive action that will “Make Toronto Great Again”.

We are lining up the story, sorry, scandal, to be published soon. The problem is there are a lot highly technical/legal facts involved, which we are trying our best to present them in a format that is comprehensible to the general public.  The scandal will not only reveal the dark side of the City administration, which in our humble opinion, both worrisome and intruguing. It’s going to be highly educationl as well –  The poor soul has spent so much resources battling the scandal that he himself is now some kind of expert in Building Code, Municipal Bylaw, and Safety Regulation. Also things like City Planning/Committee of Adjustment, Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). You name anything related to building application, planning, and construction, the scandal is likely to have the answer you have been looking for.

There will be information on how the insider mechanism works at the City Hall that no Joe Public can possibly phantom. Stay tuned for the juicy Insider Truth of City of Toronto – “City Building Scandal – Toronto The Magical Wonderland of the Great White North..

Let’s make Toronto Great Again.

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