We’ve written extensively about non-residential property taxes in Edmonton. Whether it is comparing the tax rate to surrounding municipalities, or showing how egregious the increases have been compared to inflation, this is a problem that has attracted the attention of numerous businesses and industry groups. Just recently, a group of for-profit and non-profit members has gathered to create an advocacy group called Prosperity Edmonton. According to the group, they are looking “to partner with the city to find ways to manage growth without resorting to property tax hikes that will hurt Edmonton’s job-creators.” According to their twitter account, they are a group of advocates “uniting to make Edmonton a competitive job-creating powerhouse. ”
The group includes the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce, NAIOP, BOMA, UDI, Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Retail Council of Canada, Restaurants Canada, and Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters.
Here are some highlights of the first letter sent to Edmonton city council this week:
From 2006 – 2016, inflation and population together has increased 50.5%. Over that same time frame, city operational spending increased a staggering 103.4%. During that period commercial property taxes rose 124%. While other Canadian cities have decreased their commercial property tax rate (-4.3% Canada-wide), Edmonton’s rate has continued to grow (8.54% year-over-year in 2017).
It’s impressive how much media coverage this issue has already attracted.
Vinesh Pratap with Global News reported on a retail building in west Edmonton that saw property taxes rise from $64,960 in 2016 to $127,153 in 2018 (a nearly 100% increase in 2 years).
CBC referenced a note in a letter indicating that commercial property taxes are 17% higher in Edmonton than in Calgary.
David Staples with the Edmonton Journal alludes to a growing sentiment about how taxes and red tape are leading to an “Edmonton Disadvantage” for businesses.
Our guess is the Mayor will undoubtedly respond with the same tired rhetoric that we are “city-building” and it comes with a cost. We are not disputing the fact that our city is growing, but we wholeheartedly support and endorse Prosperity Edmonton’s position that our city needs to reduce the heavy tax burden. The growth needs to occur responsibly and not funded disproportionately on the shoulders of businesses and property owners.
The City’s tax and spend problem has finally culminated with a large, collective push back, and the momentum is growing. We encourage people to join in and become engaged in this conversation.
Opinions expressed herein are the sole opinions of the authors and do not represent any company, group, industry or association. View our full disclaimer here.
Chad GriffithsPartner, SIOR, CCIM
Chad is a partner with NAI Commercial Real Estate and focuses on the Greater Edmonton area. Chad entered the industry in 2004 and has completed over 400 commercial transactions with clients ranging from small, local companies to large institutional owners. Chad has been a top 15 producer with NAI Canada-wide since 2013.
Ryan BrownPartner, BCom, SIOR
Ryan is a partner with NAI Commercial Real Estate in Edmonton and is currently ranked nationally as one of NAI's top advisors. Having executed in excess of $100 Million worth of sales transactions and over 2 Million square feet of lease transactions, Ryan has developed a firm understanding of asset evaluation and an aptitude for building design, functionality, and long-term practicality.
Darcie is a licensed Commercial Real Estate Agent in the Province of Alberta with a focus on the Edmonton market and its surrounding areas. Darcie accomplishes custom solutions for her clients through her personable nature and results driven attitude. Darcie can help if you are looking to invest in commercial real estate or are looking for representation for a sale or lease transactions.
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