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.
It’s interesting to note that during the past 15 years, all 11 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 far below national average
You’ll note the graph which accompanies this article illustrates the average 2018 commercial property tax per $1,000 of assessment is $24.21.
Saskatoon and Regina are, respectively, a significant 38 per cent and 32 per cent below the national average.
Vancouver boasts the lowest ratio in the country. As you might guess, its assessed values are considerably higher than our Prairie cities.
There are, however, many other larger centres which have those higher assessed values and still calculate rates much higher than ours.
I noted above the average 2018 estimated commercial property tax per $1,000 of assessment is $24.21.
How commercial, residential averages compare
Looking at those same 11 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 among the lowest commercial property taxes in the country. It’s just one more of the many reasons for establishing a business in Saskatchewan.
For commercial property owners, it’s always beneficial to monitor and note any major change in your tax assessment. If it appears the assessment you’ve been handed is unfair, don’t hesitate to engage a property tax professional.
They will be able to advise you whether the time spent on an appeal would be worthwhile.
Value misjudgements do happen and the savings you realize if an appeal is successful, could be substantial.