In the latest report from real estate services firm Altus Group, commercial property tax rates in Ottawa are some of the highest nationwide, in spite of a steady downward slide over the past decade.
The Canadian Property Tax Rate Benchmark Report showed that businesses in Ottawa pay $28.52 in property taxes for every $1,000 of a property’s assessed value, representing a 0.4% year-over-year decline. According to Altus, the national average is $23.02.
The report also provided a comparison between commercial rates to residential rates, with the rate in Ottawa being 2.67—that is, a commercial property valued at $1 million would have taxes 2.67 times higher than an equally valued residential property. The national average of this ratio is 2.85.
“High commercial property taxes place a greater weight on businesses to contribute an unequitable share of municipal budgets,” Altus noted in the study, as quoted by the Ottawa Business Journal. “While every homeowner would appreciate paying less property tax, it is important to balance the burden paid by businesses in each city. Lower commercial property taxes help make cities more competitive, promote job growth and investment, and subsequently generate more stable and sustainable revenue.”
“A city’s property tax rate is directly linked to its competitiveness,” REALPAC chief executive Michael said in a statement. “High commercial property tax rates send business and economic development elsewhere, and work at cross purposes with infrastructure investments, particularly transit. Further efforts should be made in all cities to bring commercial property taxes down to more reasonable levels.”