Saskatchewan’s two major cities have been flagged as the most competitive in the nation in a report by the Altus Group that zeroes in on the equity between commercial and residential property taxes.
They noted that Regina has the most competitive gap in the country and Saskatoon is second best.
It is a time when the owners of office buildings in this country are struggling to retool their financial models after COVID shut their spaces down and then the Work-From-Home movement left large pieces vacant and interest rates started to rise.
The competitive edge Altus Group identified is how local politicians treat these properties. Since they all use the same fire and police departments, water and sewer services and so on, the demands they place on the administration are similar but buildings don’t vote so politicians are willing to hike those taxes to subsidize or offset residential taxes. In Montreal, the gap is 4:1 meaning commercial property is taxed four times as much as a house with the same assessment.
Regina is 1.5 times and Saskatoon is 1.95.