If the current mil rate in Clarenville remains where it's at, there will be many residents who simply can't pay the bills.
That's why George Martin is circulating a petition to have the town lower the mil rate.
When Martin spoke with the Packet last Thursday, he already had around 55 names on the petition.
"That will be plenty if we don't get any more. I just wanted to get an idea of the feeling," he said.
The mil rate is the amount of tax payable per dollar of an assessed value of property. It is set by a town to meet revenue projections in their annual budgets.
Martin said the people he talked to "without exception, said yes of course" that something has to be done.
"One taxpayer said to me, 'George, if they don't lower the mil rate I'm liable to be giving up my house.'"
Residents on a fixed income won't be able to pay their bills, said Martin.
"I think council is going to do something, (even) if I don't take a position or nobody takes a position. They're bound to, almost."
Martin's own property value went up by $47,000 - from $118,000 to $153,000 in the latest assessment.
"I'm not going to argue with any assessor that my property is not worth $153,000. The way the market is going today, it's upside down almost."
What he wants to articulate to council is if his property and many others' are assessed so high, the mil rate should be lowered to compensate for the spike.
To leave the mil rate as it is, Martin said his tax increase would be hundreds of dollars.
"Don't leave that mil rate like that because if it does it'll make my property taxes go from $915 to about $1400 and something, and that's too big of a jump."
The mil rate is currently 7.75 per cent. Martin said he would like to see the town lower by one mil, if at all possible.
"I've done some calculations and if they lower that mil rate from 7.75 down to 6.75, they will still gather more municipal taxes."
Demand drives the market
John Downing, a real estate agent with Clarenville Realty, signed Martin's petition. Downing has been working in real estate in Clarenville for 15 years.
He said he felt the mil rate would get lowered anyway, even if a petition wasn't being circulated.
Property assessments have gone up with relation to what's happened to the housing market as a result of the economic boom across Newfoundland - not just in the Clarenville area, but in St. John's and elsewhere, said Downing.
"The demand for the property has driven the market and, as a result, assessments have gone up."
However, Downing couldn't offer a solution to the rising assessments.
Fred Denty, a real estate agent with Cormack Realty, also signed Martin's petition.
Both he and Downing estimated assessments have gone up by 100 per cent or more in the past 15 years.
The average new new house 15 years ago, around the time they both started working at Clarenville and Cormack Realty, would have gone for around $139,000, said Downing.
Today, the same house would be assessed at $279,000.
Industry in the area, plus the fact that Clarenville is a service centre, drives the price up, said Downing.
He didn't predict things getting any easier any time soon, either.
"I think things are going to stay up there, to be honest with you. That's just my opinion."