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HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

2002 Comparison of Effective Residential Property Tax Levels in Major Canadian Cities

Policy Series by Peter Holle, Daniel Klymchuk

In this Frontier Centre paper Peter Holle and Daniel Klymchuk compare property tax levels in major Canadian cities, using the data to evaluate the relative residential tax burden in Winnipeg. Any comparison of taxation levels between jurisdictions is troublesome, the authors note, because differing economic conditions may distort the effects of taxation. To overcome this problem Holle and Klymchuk use effective property tax rates (rates relative to market value) and absolute tax burdens (utility charges, taxes relative to income and taxation per square foot) to make their comparisons.

With respect to effective property taxes, Holle and Klymchuk find that because Winnipeg has lower property values vis-à-vis other major Canadian cities, it has higher effective taxation levels. The authors come to a similar conclusion when considering absolute tax burdens, finding that Winnipeggers pay the sixth highest total charges on a standard house in Canada. Holle and Klymchuk note that both forms of taxation are lowest in cities with rapidly growing markets, such as Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto.

The article concludes with the authors’ recommendations to lower property taxes in Winnipeg. The steps they propose are: 1) broaden city revenue sources; 2) phase out school property taxes; 3) encourage greater operating efficiencies at Winnipeg City Hall; and, 4) a high-growth policy (encouraging development) to raise house values. Enacting these steps, Holle and Klymchuk claim, will lead to “significant progress” in reducing Winnipeg property taxes.

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Policy Publication Details

Author(s): Peter Holle; Daniel Klymchuk;
Publisher: Frontier Centre for Public Policy [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2002; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: Yes Research Focus: Municipal;
Registration Required: No Language: English
Payment Required: No Publication Format: Adobe PDF

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / Cities & Communities / Municipal Governance
Policy Articles / Fiscal & Budgetary / Tax Policy
Policy Articles / Cities & Communities
Policy Articles / Fiscal & Budgetary
Policy Articles / Cities & Communities / Municipal Governance / 2002
Policy Articles / Fiscal & Budgetary / Tax Policy / 2002


Keywords / Tags:

property taxes; residential tax burden; effective tax rate; absolute tax rate; Winnipeg; school tax; operating efficiencies; revenue sources; growth;