An in-depth look at property tax rates in eleven major urban centres across Canada

Property tax is the main source of revenue for Canadian municipalities and is used to fund services such as road repair, education, recreational programs and public transit. Both residents and business owners pay property taxes, but the rate they pay varies depending on whether the property type is commercial or residential – taxing authorities set these rates at their discretion.

The issue and subsequent argument that arises is the perceived fairness of the different property tax rates paid between commercial and residential taxpayers, and who should proportionally fund more, or less for municipal services – businesses or residents.

The findings of this report are used by Altus Group and REALPAC to create dialogue with taxing authorities about tax fairness, influence public policy and promote a healthy business environment for the real estate sector.

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Regional Highlights:

Vancouver remains the only city with a commercial-to-residential tax ratio in excess of 4:1.

Calgary and Quebec City saw the highest ratio increases in 2018, indicating a growing burden on commercial rate payers in those cities.

For the first time in 14 years, Calgary ranks above the average ratio.

Quebec City’s ratio has been steadily climbing for 15 years.

Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal posted the highest commercial-to-residential ratios in the country.

For further information about the report, please email

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