Municipal Tax Competitiveness Study

The City of Hamilton participates in an annual municipal competitiveness study.  The study includes a number of Ontario municipalities.

2015 Municipal Tax Competitiveness Study

Each year, staff report on the results of this study, mainly highlighting how Hamilton’s property tax burden compares to other municipalities both for the current year and the trend experienced over the previous years. 

View the information report (PDF, 777 KB) that deals with the main focus of the study – comparison of relative taxes.  

View the full Municipal Study for 2015 (PDF, 5.05 MB) 

Section 1: Introduction

The Executive Summary provides an overview of the analysis contained in the comprehensive 500+ page report. Provides a summary of the 98 Ontario municipalities included in the study with populations that range from 4,700 in population to 2.7 million.

Section 2: Socio Economic Factors

This section of the report includes information on population changes land area, density, household incomes,age demographics, assessment information and building permit activity to assist in understanding some of the basic facts about each municipality and the overall growth patterns. The executive summary includes excerpts of the socio‐economic factors.

Section 3: Municipal Financial Indicators

The Municipal Financial Indicators section of the report includes a number of measures including the financial position, operating surplus, asset consumption ratio, reserves, debt and receivables.

Section 4: Revenue & Expenditure Analysis & MPMPs

Net Municipal Levy per Capita and per $100,000 of assessment.

Section 5: Select User Fee and Revenue Information

The Select User Fee and Revenue Information section of the report includes development charges, building building permit fees, tipping fees and transit fares.

Section 6: Tax Policies

The relative tax burden in each class of property will be impacted by the type of tax policies implemented in each municipality. As such, an analysis of the 2015 tax policies that impact the relative tax position was completed. This section of the report includes an analysis of the tax ratios, identification of optional classes and also an identification of which municipalities increased or decreased their tax ratios from 2014‐2015.

Section 7: Comparison of Relative Taxes

Like property comparisons were undertaken on 11 property types that were of most interest to the participating municipalities. In order to calculate the relative tax burden of “like” properties, every effort was made to hold constant those factors deemed to be most critical in determining a property’s assessed value. However, given the number of factors used to calculate the assessed value for each property, and the inability to quantify each of these factors, the results should be used to provide the reader with overall trends rather than exact differences in relative tax burdens between municipalities. By selecting multiple property types within each taxing class (e.g. Residential—Detached Bungalow, Executive), and by selecting multiple properties from within each municipality and property subtype, the likelihood of anomalies in the database has been reduced. Every effort was made to select a minimum of 3‐8 properties from each municipality and from within each property type. 

Section 8: Comparison of Water/Sewer Costs 

The establishment of water and sewer rates is a municipal responsibility and the absence of standard procedures across Ontario has resulted in the evolution of a great variety of rate structure formats. There was considerable diversity diversity across the survey in terms of the costs of water/sewer and how services are charged. 

Section 9: Property Taxes and Water/Wastewater as a % of Income 

A comparison was made of relative property tax burdens and water/sewer costs on comparable properties against the median household incomes. The report also calculates the total municipal tax burden as a percentage of income available on an average household.

Section 10: Economic Development Programs

A summary was completed of programs that municipalities have implemented to promote economic development. This included a review of Business Retentioon & Expansion Programs, Downtown/Area Specific Programs, Brownfield Redevelopment and Industrial Parks.

Municipal studies for previous years

2014
Municipal Study for 2014 (PDF, 5.56 MB)
Information Report (PDF, 920 KB)

2013
Municipal Study for 2013 (PDF, 5 MB)
Information Report (PDF, 485 KB)

2012
Municipal Study for 2012 (PDF, 4.7 MB)
Information Report (PDF, 127 KB)