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Canadian Property Tax Rate Benchmark Report 2019

Summary

Over the last 16 years, we have benchmarked and analyzed property tax rates of major urban centres across Canada to identify the ratios of tax rates between commercial and residential properties. The 2019 report found that eight of the 11 cities surveyed have a commercial rate which is at least double that of the residential tax rate. This means that a commercial property would incur property taxes more than twice the amount of an equally valued residential property, having dramatic impacts on Canadian small businesses.

Property taxes are paid by both business property owners and residential property owners, however the rates they pay vary because they are set at the discretion of taxing authorities. The ongoing challenge that governments face is to find ways to fund municipal budgets while at the same time balancing the perceived fairness between commercial and residential taxpayers.

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.

Halifax

For the first time in six years, Halifax now sits slightly above average with a ratio of 2.87

Calgary

Calgary saw the largest increase in the survey for the second year in a row with a jump of 8.31%

Vancouver

For the first time in at least 20 years, Vancouver’s ratio dropped below 4.0, with a decrease of 17.17%

Montreal

Montreal has now taken the top spot for highest commercial-to-residential property tax ratio, reaching 3.93

Despite seeing some major shifts this year, the commercial-to-residential tax ratio is still an issue of relative fairness as we continue to see several cities across Canada shifting the burden of property taxes to business owners. Expecting businesses to shoulder the same burden while values decline, or taxes increase beyond business growth, is unsustainable. Measures that compress the gap between residential and commercial tax rates are positive steps that can help the viability of all businesses.

Terry BishopBishopbu-commercial-property-tax

President, Canada Property Tax

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Last updated on October 29th, 2019 at 02:17 pm

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