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Municipal tax share

Municipal tax share

Distributing property tax more fairly

On Nov. 22, Council approved adjustments to The City of Calgary's service plans and budgets, which included the approval of a three-year plan to balance taxes between business owners and homeowners better, moving us closer to other big cities in Canada. Council shifted 1 per cent of the tax responsibility from businesses to homeowners each year in 2024, 2025 and 2026, which will lead to a more diverse local economy, stimulate economic growth, create jobs, expand the economy, and provide a stable revenue stream for The City.

Creating greater balance in property tax distribution

In 2023, the distribution of municipal taxes for non-residential properties was 48 percent versus 52 per cent residential. Non-residential properties make up 17 percent of the total assessed property values in Calgary but pay 48 per cent of the property taxes.

The tax rate ratio is often used by industry to compare property taxes across jurisdictions. Benchmarking data shows that Calgary had one of the highest tax rate ratios among both regional and national big-city comparators. Calgary’s 2023 tax rate ratio was 4.26, meaning that non-residential properties paid 4.26 times what residential properties pay for the same assessed value.

City Non-residential assessment base Tax share Tax rate ratio
Calgary 17% 48% 4.26
Vancouver 19% 43% 3.10
Edmonton 21% 44% 2.98
Toronto 17% 33% 2.51
Ottawa 18% 25% 1.92

In 2024, we’re projecting the tax rate ratio will increase to 4.59 if no changes to the municipal tax share are made during 2023 November Adjustments. An increase in the tax rate ratio would mean Calgary would be closer to reaching legislative maximum of a 5 to 1. Further, any increase in this ratio would further distance Calgary’s business competitiveness with regional neighbours and national counterparts.

Assessment values per capita

The assessment value per capita benchmark provides a measure against which to compare the amount of dollar value per individual in each municipality while standardizing for city size. 

Calgary’s non-residential tax rate remained competitive with other major Canadian cities – property tax per $1000 non-residential assessment.

Additional Council decisions that have supported businesses:

  • A total of $259 million in one-time tax relief has been provided to help businesses impacted by sudden changes in Calgary's property values since 2016.
  • In 2021, approximately, 2,000 businesses saw their municipal tax increased capped at 10% of their 2021 amount. In addition, $30 million was being directed to support Calgary-based businesses most impacted by COVID-19.

In 2001, the proportion of non-residential property tax and business tax was 62%. This percentage has declined continuously over the past 19 years and currently rests at 48%.

City Council has gradually decreased the distribution of municipal tax for businesses since 2001. In 2019, and 2023 Council approved changes to the municipal tax share between non-residential to residential property owners to support businesses and our local economy


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