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New report on municipal taxes: how does yours municipality perform?

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Do you think your city does a good job of keeping property taxes fair for your business? We looked at property tax fairness in Alberta’s 20 largest municipalities and ranked them. Spoiler alert: Calgary city hall needs a wakeup call! 

It’s that time of year again.

You should have received you property tax assessment in January. While you may have forgotten about it for now, the fact of matter is: property taxes are due in just a few months.

Taking the financial hit property taxes impose every year is difficult. Knowing you could be paying up to four times more in property taxes than a resident would be paying (for the same assessed property value) is even more challenging.

The issue of property tax fairness is one that we have been working hard to bring to light, and have governments take action. To help facilitate the conversation, we have just released the 9th edition of our annual Alberta Tax Gap Report. This year’s iteration focuses on Alberta’s 20 largest (by population) municipalities, by examining the tax gap: the difference between what a non-residential (i.e. commercial) property owner and a residential property owner pay in taxes based on the same assessed value of property.

Mind the property tax gap

Findings show that the average tax gap across Alberta’s largest municipalities (with populations greater than 5,000) sits at 2.49. But what does this mean?

Business, on average, are paying almost two and a half times more in property taxes than their residential counterparts on the same assessed property value. This picture becomes even worse when you look at Alberta’s largest municipality.

Calgary’s tax gap is, by far, the worst in the province. Clocking in at a tax gap of 4.14, this means Calgary’s business owners are paying over 4 times more than their residential counterparts on the same assessed property value. That needs to change.

Calgary businesses pay over 4 times more in property taxes!

We are sharing this report with mayors and councils across Alberta to better inform their discussions about property tax issues. To find out how your city performed, you can read the full report here.