Ontario announces freeze on apartment property taxes

Saturday, November 19, 2016

A new proposal announced mid-November by Ontario Minister of Finance, Charles Sousa, and Minister of Housing, Chris Ballard, promises to take action to address housing affordability across the province.

The proposal includes a plan to freeze the municipal property taxes on apartment buildings while undertaking a review of how the high property tax burden for these buildings affects housing affordability in the rental market.

It also plans to modernize the Land Transfer Tax to reflect the current real estate market, including increasing rates on one or two single-family residences over $2 million. Revenue generated from proposed increased rates would be used to fund the enhancements to the First-time Homebuyers Refund.

“We know that rising home values are a good thing for the provincial economy, but also a concern for a growing number of Ontarians,” said Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance. “The government is committed to supporting an affordable and stable housing market while balancing the concerns of homeowners, first-time homebuyers and renters. Ontario is taking action to address housing affordability and to help people in their everyday lives.”

“We’re working to protect renters across the province, to make housing more affordable for all Ontarians and to ensure that Ontario continues to be the best place to live and raise a family,” added Chris Ballard, Minister of Housing and Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy.

Currently, the average municipal property tax burden on apartment buildings is more than double that for other residential properties, such as condominiums.

2 thoughts on “Ontario announces freeze on apartment property taxes

  1. This freeze on apartment building property taxes is a lot of hogwash timed to postpone perceived tenant complaints before the 2018 provincial election. In reality, the Toronto Tax rates on apartment buildings have been coming down for the last 10 years as the City studied this issue for several years and decided to bring down multi-res tax rates closer to the residential rates by reductions every year so as to not transfer the entire difference to homeowners in a single year. Peel and York Regions already have Multi-Res tax rates at the residential level. Landlords cannot pass through any increases in the 2017 property taxes until 2018, and with Toronto tax rates coming down 5% per year and the assessment increases being phased-in over 4 years, any rent increases in 2018 will be minimal and probably not worth applying for. Instead of this hogwash, why not freeze the taxes for our farmers and freeze hydro rates at 2015 levels for all homeowners while you “study their impact on low income homeowners”

    • Toronto is not the culprit. Do a little research and you’ll see that many municipalities charge 2 to 2.5 times more property tax on multi-res than single family homes and condos.

      Unfortunately, formatting is lost but the 2nd last number in each row represents the difference between multires and residential and the last number is the percentage spread.

      Ontario Property Tax Rates (2015) by Tax Spread

      Location Residential Multi-Res. Diff. Spread

      Hamilton (Urban) 1.383361 3.451109 2.07 149.5%
      Orangeville 1.410898 3.453851 2.04 144.8%
      Toronto 0.7056037 1.7265482 1.02 144.7%
      Halton Hills (Urban) 0.896794 1.782388 0.89 98.8%
      Burlington (Urban) 0.910620 1.803566 0.89 98.1%
      Burlington (Rural) 0.865139 1.710788 0.85 97.7%
      Oakville 0.849481 1.675371 0.83 97.2%
      Burlington (Rural) 0.859260 1.687395 0.83 96.4%
      Milton (Urban) 0.757464 1.467236 0.71 93.7%
      Milton (Rural) 0.727371 1.399170 0.67 92.4%
      Oshawa 1.572389 2.765896 1.19 75.9%
      Brock 1.410671 2.464050 1.05 74.7%
      Clarington 1.341171 2.334329 0.99 74.1%
      Whitby 1.303649 2.264293 0.96 73.7%
      Ajax 1.285391 2.230215 0.94 73.5%
      Pickering 1.280144 2.220423 0.94 73.5%
      Scugog 1.236323 2.138631 0.90 73.0%
      Uxbridge 1.178204 2.030151 0.85 72.3%
      Mississauga 0.888635 1.428825 0.54 60.8%
      Brampton 1.115127 1.763816 0.65 58.2%
      Caledon 0.896546 1.376615 0.48 53.5%
      Orillia 1.365073 2.075631 0.71 52.1%
      Collingwood 1.244804 1.810123 0.57 45.4%
      Bradford 1.119161 1.616821 0.50 44.5%
      New Tecumseh 1.040052 1.495112 0.46 43.8%
      Aurora 0.946098 0.946098 0.00 0.0%
      Barrie (Urban) 1.324051 1.324051 0.00 0.0%
      East Gwillimbury 0.9447664 0.9447664 0.00 0.0%
      Georgina 1.193835 1.193835 0.00 0.0%
      King 0.933277 0.933277 0.00 0.0%
      Markham 0.805732 0.805732 0.00 0.0%
      Newmarket 0.992400 0.992400 0.00 0.0%
      Richmond Hill 0.830899 0.830899 0.00 0.0%
      Vaughan 0.837242 0.837242 0.00 0.0%
      Whitchurch/Stouffville 0.879414 0.879414 0.00 0.0%

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