Tax survey shows other Canadian cities lowering realty taxes to
encourage growth, while Montreal goes in the opposite direction
TORONTO, Oct. 21, 2013 /CNW/ - Montreal's commercial tax rates continued
to increase with startling speed in 2013, soaring for the second year
in a row past Canada's two other highest-rate cities, Vancouver and
Toronto. This was part of the "encouraging and alarming" results
revealed in the 2013 Property Tax Rate Analysis produced by Altus Group for The Real Property Association of Canada
(REALpac), released today.
Despite Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver posting the highest
commercial-to-residential tax ratios, all in excess of 4:1, Toronto
continued its slow but steady downward trend for the tenth consecutive
year. Vancouver's slight increase was attributed to reductions in its
residential taxes that outpaced those of its commercial rate.
REALpac has long advocated for a commercial-to-residential ratio of
about 2:1, which the association maintains is needed to support healthy
economic growth, and could be achieved through gradual reductions.
Toronto, in particular, has been on a "watch list" for many years for
having excessively high commercial tax rates that are out of balance
with residential taxes, acting as a deterrent to downtown business and
job growth and commercial real estate investment. Now, Montreal is at
the top of the list.
Montreal's commercial-to-residential ratio increased by 2.7% year over
year, reaching a new high-water mark of 4.40 in 2013, compared to
Vancouver at 4.35 and Toronto at 4.07.
"For the first time, Montreal has vaulted past Vancouver and Toronto and
has the highest commercial-to-residential tax ratio in Canada," said
Carolyn Lane, VP, Membership, Marketing & Communications, REALpac.
The survey cites Calgary and Edmonton as making the most significant
year-over-year improvements to their ratios, at 14% and 5% decreases,
respectively. Toronto, Halifax and Winnipeg saw decreases between 1%
and 2.2%. This enabled Halifax and Winnipeg to keep their ratios well
below the national average of just over 3:1 among the municipalities
surveyed. Ottawa was subject to a slight increase of 1.8% compared to
2012, but still kept its ratio below the average. Still, the survey
points to continued concerns about high realty tax rates in Vancouver,
Toronto and especially Montreal.
"The sustainability of our urban centres is vitally important. High
realty taxes are a barrier to business growth and deter investment in
downtown office, hotel, apartment, and retail property development.
With so many shifts taking place in our global economy, Canadian cities
need to be seen as competitive with other markets in the U.S. and
around the world," added Lane.
On an absolute tax basis, Calgary, Vancouver, Edmonton and Winnipeg have
the lowest estimated property taxes per $1,000 of commercial
assessment, while Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax have the
highest. On the residential assessment side, Vancouver, Calgary,
Edmonton and Toronto have the lowest property taxes per $1,000 of
residential assessment, while Winnipeg, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax
have the highest.
While most cities in Canada have moved to decrease commercial tax rates
in the last ten years, the survey notes that residential tax rates have
declined at an even faster rate.
The 2013 Property Tax Rate Analysis may be downloaded from the REALpac website at http://www.realpac.ca/?page=PropertyTaxReport.
About the Real Property Association of Canada
REALpac is Canada's premier industry association for investment real
property leaders. Our mission is to collectively influence public
policy, to educate government and the public, and to ensure stable and
beneficial real estate capital and property markets in Canada.
REALpac members currently own in excess of $150 Billion CAD in real
estate assets located in the major centres across Canada. Members
include real estate investment trusts, publicly traded and large
private companies, banks, brokerages, crown corporations, investment
dealers, life companies, lenders, and pension funds. For more
information, please visit us at www.realpac.ca.
About Altus Group
Altus Group is a leading provider of independent commercial real estate
consulting and advisory services, software and data solutions. We
operate five interrelated Business Units, bringing together years of
experience and a broad range of expertise into one comprehensive
platform: Research, Valuation and Advisory; ARGUS Software; Property
Tax Consulting; Cost Consulting and Project Management and Geomatics.
Our suite of services and software enables clients to analyze, gain
insight and recognize value on their real estate investments.
Altus Group has over 1,800 employees in multiple offices around the
world, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom,
Australia and Asia Pacific. Altus Group's clients include financial
institutions, private and public investment funds, insurance companies,
accounting firms, public real estate organizations, real estate
investment trusts, industrial companies, foreign and domestic private
investors, real estate developers, governmental institutions and firms
in the oil and gas sector.
For more information, please visit www.altusgroup.com.
SOURCE: Real Property Association of Canada
For further information:
For further information about the survey findings, contact:
Carolyn Lane, 416-642-2700 ext 223, email@example.com