Who is Paying the Lowest Property Tax in Ontario?

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Wondering if you are paying too much for property tax?

Serious home buyers should do several essential tasks before buying any property. The main one? Check the ongoing cost of owning property including its annual property tax. Aside from knowing how much you need in advance to buy a property in Ontario, it is also important to know how much of your income will be spent on paying the ongoing costs of owning a property. 

While residential property taxes in Ontario vary broadly, some top-destination cities have surprisingly affordable property tax rates. Want to know more about these cities and their property taxes? Read on to find out.

How Do I Find Property Taxes?

Typically, the real market value of a property is not the same as its municipal appraised value. This makes it very hard for potential buyers to uncover the actual property tax of a property within a specific price range. Even if they know the official property tax rate, they might not be able to accurately estimate their annual property tax in the future.

So, if you’re a potential buyer who is pondering over how you can uncover property tax, you can use the WOWA property tax calculator to calculate property taxes based on publicly available market prices rather than assessed valuations. WOWA defines a new parameter of the “effective property tax rate” by dividing the actual property tax over the property market price, showing the percentage of the property value that is being paid as property tax each year. 

Which Cities Have the Highest Property Taxes in Ontario?

According to WOWA’ report on the property taxes in Ontario, the cities possessing  the highest effective property tax rates in Ontario are:

CityEffective Property Tax Rates
Ottawa0.78%
Woodstock0.79%
Belleville0.83%
Greater Sudbury0.86%
Owen Sound0.86%

Which Cities Have the Lowest Property Taxes in Ontario?

According to WOWA, cities with the lowest effective property tax rates in Ontario are:

CityEffective Property Tax Rates
Toronto0.40%
Milton0.43%
Oakville0.46%
Markham0.47%
Vaughan0.47%
Richmond Hill0.47%

How Much is Property Tax in Toronto?

While Ottawa has one of the highest property tax rates in the province, Toronto, conversely, has one of the lowest rates.

WOWA’s Property Tax Estimator in action

For a condo apartment in Toronto, you’d pay about $1,677 – $2,023 in property taxes; for the same kind of apartment in Ottawa, property tax is estimated to be almost twice this amount. 

How is Canada’s largest city able to provide one of the lowest effective residential tax rates for its residents?

Firstly, Toronto mayors have consistently worked to keep any tax increments at or below the level of inflation, maintaining a city budget that controls this increase of residential property tax.

Furthermore, since Toronto has a lot of highly-valued real estate property and high population density, it is easier for a lower property tax to be set.   

In contrast, in cities with lower property values or smaller population density, the effective property tax rate will have to be higher to be able to raise enough funds for the operating budgets. So, while it may seem counter-intuitive, you will often find that the higher the value of residential properties in a city, the lower the effective residential property tax rate will be. 

Note: The estimates will be adjusted based on your property type e.g. condo, condo townhouse, detached or semi-detached. 

Conclusion

Location and property value are key determinants of how much you’d eventually pay for property tax, so keep these pieces of information close to heart as you make future budget planning. 

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