Vancouver most over-taxed business jurisdiction in Canada, Survey shows



    TORONTO, Nov. 27 /CNW/ - When it comes to doing business in Canada, there
are a few cities you may want to think twice about before locating or
relocating your business.
    For the first time, the Real Property Association of Canada's annual
survey of property taxes across the country gives Vancouver the dubious
distinction of having the worst commercial to residential property tax ratio
in Canada at 5 to 1. Vancouver now replaces Toronto as the most over-taxed
business jurisdiction in Canada.
    After Toronto and Vancouver, the commercial to residential tax ratio
drops significantly to approximately three and a half to one in Richmond.
St. John's has the lowest commercial to residential tax ratios at roughly one
and a half to one, while Edmonton weighs in at roughly two to one.
    The survey also highlights problems in Regina and Montreal for commercial
properties. Regina has the worst effective annual commercial property tax rate
in Canada, of over 5% of the commercial value of the business on the basis of
$1,000 of commercial assessment. Montreal is the second worst on a per $1,000
basis for commercial properties, at 4.47%.
    The "2007 Property Tax Assessment and Tax Analysis of 2006 Data",
released today by REALpac and prepared by Altus Derbyshire, Realty Tax
Consulting, shows both the range of commercial and residential property tax
assessments coast to coast and the trends amongst urban centres, allowing
REALpac to determine in which cities taxes are going up, going down, and how
quickly. "This survey highlights inequities in the property tax system.
REALpac calls on all municipalities to ensure that commercial and residential
property tax levels are balanced and fair," said Michael Brooks, Executive
Director of the Real Property Association of Canada.
    Employees won't be standing in line to move to Regina, since the city
also has the highest residential tax rate in Canada, with 2.25% of the value
of the property going to municipal tax coffers, followed closely by Winnipeg
at 2.20%. On a $200,000 home in Regina, that's an annual property tax bill of
$4,500. "It's not clear why Regina's commercial and residential rates are so
high as to be leading in both categories, when comparable cities such as
Edmonton, are consistently much lower," said Brooks.
    Head east to St. John's, Newfoundland, to find the least expensive place
to do business in Canada. At less than 2% per $1,000 of commercial assessment,
St. John's is the most business friendly community in the country from a
property tax perspective, followed closely by Calgary and Edmonton. Toronto
weighs in well above average, at slightly over 4% per $1,000 of commercial
assessment, but still less than Regina, Montreal, and Winnipeg.
    REALpac Members believe in tax fairness. REALpac has consistently
advocated that continued reduction of the excessive property tax burden on
commercial and industrial tenants and landlords will make Toronto, Vancouver
and Richmond, more competitive and promote jobs and investment. "The resulting
greater investment will increase the property assessment base, thereby
generating more stable and sustainable revenue for the cities," added Brooks.

    About the Real Property Association of Canada

    REALpac is Canada's premier industry association for investment real
property leaders. REALpac's mission is to bring together the country's real
property investment leaders 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 CDN $150 Billion in real
estate assets located in the major centres across Canada and include real
estate investment trusts, publicly traded and large private companies, banks,
brokerages, crown corporations, investment dealers, life companies, and
pension funds. Visit REALpac at www.realpac.ca.

    About Altus Derbyshire

    In the spring of 2005, Altus Group, Helyar & Associates, Altus Realty Tax
and Derbyshire Viceroy Consultants merged to become Canada's largest
independent real estate consulting firm. The new Altus Group brings together a
commonly managed network of costing, valuation and property tax consultants
with a local presence in every major centre across Canada. The property tax
experts of Altus Derbyshire provide a complete range of realty tax management
and planning, assessment appeal and tax recovery services to commercial,
industrial and residential stakeholders nationwide. Visit Altus Derbyshire at
www.thealtusgroup.com.




For further information:

For further information: Michael Brooks, Executive Director, REALpac,
(416) 642-2700 x.225

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Real Property Association of Canada

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