Alberta small businesses feeling the impacts of rising property taxes

New property tax report looks at tax rate and fairness ratios in Alberta’s 20 largest municipalities  

Calgary, February 13, 2024 – According to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business’ (CFIB) Alberta’s 2024 Property Tax Report, municipal property taxes have continually increased for businesses over the last five years. The report shows that without municipal action property tax fairness is expected to get worse for businesses owners, who are already bearing the burden of property taxes.  

In the report, CFIB defines the property tax rate ratio as the difference between the tax rate paid by businesses and residents. The tax fairness ratio is defined as the difference between the share of property taxes paid by businesses and their share of property assessment. 

“Small businesses across the province have seen property taxes steadily increase over the past few years, representing the most direct cost from municipal governments and must be paid regardless of revenue,” said Andrew Sennyah, Alberta senior policy analyst. “Municipal governments continue to raise property taxes to make up for increased spending. Compared to residents the impact of increasing property taxes affects business owners more, which is why we are calling on municipalities to commit to property tax fairness.” 

Over half (53%) of Alberta small business owners identified property taxes as the most harmful tax or cost for their business, more than any other province in Canada. Additionally, almost three quarters (74%) say their municipal government is not paying attention to small business issues. CFIB is calling on all municipal governments to reduce spending and commit to property tax fairness.  

Key findings from the report include: 

  • Property taxes are expected to grow at a faster rate than municipal spending in most of Alberta’s largest municipalities.
  • Businesses pay a property tax rate ratio three times higher than residents in Alberta’s four largest cities.
  • Leduc had the best property tax fairness ratio at 1.18 while Calgary had the worst tax fairness ratio at 2.68.
  • In Calgary the tax rate ratio is expected to increase to 5.07 by 2027, triggering provincial intervention by violating the Municipal Government Act.
  • In Calgary and Edmonton, a 2% tax shift over four years (8% total) would save the average business property $28,415 compared to a cost increase of $1,031 for the average residence.  

“Alberta small businesses continue to shoulder a significant portion of municipal property taxes while using less municipal services,” concluded Sennyah. “Alberta small businesses are facing the same economic hardships felt across the province and real leadership is needed from municipal governments to ensure the survival and growth of our local economies.” 

Read the full report here.  

For media enquiries or interviews, please contact: 
Andrew Sennyah, Alberta senior policy analyst 
(587) 437-5005  

About CFIB 
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 97,000 members, 10,000 in Alberta, across every industry and region. CFIB is dedicated to increasing business owners’ chances of success by driving policy change at all levels of government, providing expert advice and tools, and negotiating exclusive savings. Learn more at