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Toronto's property tax rate the lowest in Ontario: report

'For Sale' sign is pictured in the front yard of a house in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, July 17, 2018. Picture taken July 17, 2018. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Toronto, Ont. may have one of the most expensive housing markets in the country, but homeowners in the city are paying the lowest property tax rate in Ontario.

That’s according to a Zoocasa report released Thursday analyzing the property tax rate in 35 Ontario cities. The real estate company calculated sample property taxes by multiplying sample home assessment values by the residential rates set by various municipalities.

Toronto’s tax rate is the lowest in the province at 0.614770 per cent, meaning that people owning a home valued at $500,000 will pay approximately $3,074 in property taxes.

Meanwhile, homeowners in Windsor, Ont. are saddled with the province’s highest property tax rate of 1.789394 per cent, with taxes on a $500,000 home coming in at $8,947.

The property tax disparity between the two cities shouldn’t be all that surprising, considering the difference in real estate prices from one market to the next. According to recent statistics from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), the average price of a home in Greater Toronto in jumped 3.6 per cent year-over-year in June to $798,500. The Windsor-Essex region also saw prices increase, but to a more modest $336,160.

In fact, the five cities that boast the lowest property tax rate in the province are all located within the Greater Toronto Area, where real estate prices have skyrocketed over the last several years.

“Cities with high-valued local real estate and larger populations generally have more leeway on keeping their tax rate low, as the amount collected from individual homeowners is higher to reflect real estate prices and there are more tax payers to contribute to the pot,” Zoocasa’s managing editor Penelope Graham wrote in a post alongside the report.

“In contrast, the cities with the highest tax rates often have the lowest-priced real estate.”

The cities with the lowest property tax rates in Ontario:

  1. Toronto: 0.614770%

  2. Markham: 0.659822%

  3. Milton: 0.685776%

  4. Richmond Hill: 0.688357%

  5. Vaughan: 0.696147%

The cities with the highest property tax rate in Ontario:

  1. Windsor: 1.789394%

  2. Thunder Bay: 1.598484%

  3. Sault Ste. Marie: 1.529349%

  4. North Bay: 1.501246%

  5. Sudbury: 1.461888%

In the report, Graham urged homeowners to consider property taxes when looking at a potential real estate purchase.

“The amount of property tax a buyer will need to pay is a considerable carrying cost that’s often overlooked, despite it being an ongoing annual financial obligation over the course of the home’s ownership,” Graham wrote.

“The amount of property tax paid should also be of particular note to buyers moving to a new city, as municipal tax rates vary widely across Ontario.”

Here’s Zoocasa’s full property tax ranking:

Zoocasa ranked 35 municipalities across Ontario based on their residential property tax rates.

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