Canadian Property Taxes

Total Property Taxes Paid 

Based on MLS Benchmarks

City of Vancouver has the highest property taxes in Canada and the Province of BC is proposing to substantially add to this burden.

Property taxes are based on a mill rate. This is calculated by taking the total municipal budget and dividing it by the total assessed value of all properties in the class (such as residential).

The mill rate will be low if property values are high. But then the mill rate is multiplied by the assessed value of the property to determine the property taxes paid.

In the case of the City of Vancouver, the mill rate will be low because property assessed values are so high, but once this is multiplied out, based on MLS Benchmark prices, it is clear that Vancouver has the highest property taxes in Canada.

The graph above shows the base rates plus the utilities that are part of the total property tax bill for most recent figures of 2017.

Note that the graph has been updated to allow for Toronto’s 4 year averaging and phase-in formula which substantially reduces Toronto’s assessed values that are applicable to property tax calculations.

A further update May 15, 2018 below shows the breakdown of the split in Vancouver / BC portions of the property taxes collected.

This has been then adapted to reflect the new “School Tax” property surcharge that shows how the province will be taking the vast majority of the property tax base if this tax is implemented.

Clearly the Province of BC is proposing to substantially encroach on the municipal tax base if this surtax is implemented. All municipalities should be concerned. District of West Vancouver, Richmond and Surrey have already been talking to the Ministry of Finance.

For BC to take this much of the property tax base will substantially limit municipalities’ ability to raise revenue to pay for civic infrastructure and services.


Altus Group: Canadian Property Tax Rate Benchmark Report 2017

The utilities information was the from the City of Vancouver and Toronto.

The Benchmark property values is from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

MLA David Eby’s webpage shows a graph that is not accurately portraying tax comparisons since it neglects to compare Benchmark property values in each city. Other cities across Canada have much lower property values than Vancouver and why the mill rate is so low, because the Vancouver property values are so high. The chart on David Eby’s website is therefore very misleading.                   

Copyright Elizabeth Murphy 2018 all rights reserved. 

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