K. Chawla and Ted Wannell
- Average property taxes in 1998 were highest in Central
Canada ($2,230 in Ontario and $2,030 in Quebec) and
lowest in Newfoundland and Labrador ($640).
- Families in British Columbia, where property values
are relatively higher, did not necessarily pay higher
property taxes. In 1998, they paid 0.7% of market value
compared with 1.9% in Quebec and Manitoba.
- Income taxes far exceed property taxes. In 1998,
the majority of families paid less than 5% of their
income in property taxes while spending 10% or more
on income tax. Overall, income tax averaged more than
seven times the property tax bill.
- While income taxes are progressive (reducing income
inequality), property taxes are regressive (increasing
inequality). Families with incomes of $100,000 or more
paid 28.6% in income tax compared with only 1.8% in
property tax. The respective shares were 4.0% and 10.0%
for those with incomes under $20,000. Property taxes
were most regressive at the bottom of the income distribution.
- Since property taxes are not related to the ability
to pay, the elderly and those in low-income groups paid
proportionately more. Even though on average the elderly
had significant financial assets and home equity, the
low-income elderly paid 11.7% of their income in property
taxes while their non low-income counterparts paid just
Raj K. Chawla and Ted Wannell are with the Labour and
Household Surveys Analysis Division. Raj Chawla can be
reached at (613) 951-6901, Ted Wannell at (613) 951-3546,
or both at email@example.com.