Saskatchewan commercial property taxes below average

I thought twice about writing this post!

Does it risk raising the question with the city administrators: are our Saskatoon and Regina commercial property taxes too low?

Or… does it showcase just one more of the many benefits of setting up shop in one of our two major Saskatchewan cities?

In an earlier post I referenced the 2018 Canadian Property Tax Rate Benchmark Report released by Altus Group, and supporting partner REALPAC with a focus on the commercial to residential tax ratio.

Canadian city trend

It’s interesting to note that over the past fifteen years, all the eleven cities reported an overall decline in both the commercial and residential tax per $1,000 of assessment.

There can be many reasons for changes in these ratios. Fluctuations in school tax rates, variations in assessed values of property and growth in the overall tax base.

A reduction in commercial rates can be implemented to simply improve the local business climate and increase competitiveness.

Saskatchewan costs are far below national comparison

You’ll note the graph below illustrates the average 2018 commercial property tax per $1,000 of assessment is $24.21.

Credit: Altus Group Canadian Property Tax Rate Benchmark Report

Saskatoon and Regina are respectively, a significant 38 per cent and 32 per cent below this national average.

Vancouver boasts the lowest ratio in the country. As you might guess, their assessed values are considerably higher than our prairie cities.

There are however many other larger centres who have those higher assessed values and still calculate rates much higher than ours.

How do commercial and residential average rates compare

I noted above that the average 2018 estimated commercial property tax per $1,000 of assessment is $24.21.  

Looking at those same eleven Canadian cities, that equivalent average number for residential is $8.82.

Regina and Saskatoon are much closer to that residential average at $8.66 and $9.49 respectively. Once again Vancouver is at the bottom at $2.27.

We are fortunate to reside in a jurisdiction that maintains the among lowest commercial property taxes in the country. It’s just one more of the many reasons for establishing a business in this province.

For commercial property owners, it’s always beneficial to monitor and note any major change in your tax assessment.

If it appears as if the assessment you’ve been handed is unfair, don’t hesitate to engage a property tax professional.

They will be able to advise you if the time spent on an appeal is worthwhile.

Value misjudgements do happen and the savings you realize if an appeal is successful, could be substantial.

Posted by Barry Stuart

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