Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay's property tax rate 2nd highest in Ontario, but what you pay is comparable to other cities

City councillors in Thunder Bay, Ont., have already started the 2021 budget process, holding a town hall style meeting on what taxpayers want to see in next year's budget.
Residential properties in Thunder Bay, Ont., have the second highest tax rate in Ontario. (Jeff Walters/CBC)

City councillors in Thunder Bay, Ont., have already started the 2021 budget process, holding a town hall style meeting on what taxpayers want to see in next year's budget.

The meeting comes as Zoocasa, a Toronto-based real estate firm released its findings on property taxes across the province.

The study, which used tax rates from municipal websites, and average real estate prices from real estate boards, determined the actual cost of property tax per municipality.

Thunder Bay had the second highest tax rate in the province, at 1.562626%, beating out Windsor for the highest rate in the province, at 1.775679%.

Toronto had the lowest tax rate in the province at 0.599704%.

Other cities in northern Ontario ranked just behind Thunder Bay when it came to tax rates, with Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury and North Bay all within 0.07% of each other.

The average cost of a home, however, was much lower in Thunder Bay, coming in at $266,628, the second lowest in the province, only to $209,785 in Sault Ste. Marie.

But what do all those values mean for taxation?  Based on the average home sale price, a property owner would pay $4,166 in Thunder Bay, while in Sault Ste. Marie, that figure would be $3211. 

In Sudbury, the average home, based on real estate transactions would pay $5,065 and in North Bay would pay $6,337.

Property taxes support city operations, including roads, parks, transit, garbage collection, police, fire and other city services. 

How property tax rates are determined in Ontario involves a few calculations, including what the overall tax-supported budget is for a municipality.

Once that overall figure is determined, the tax rate is then determined, after the tax ratios are set by the community. The ratio determines what each property class (residential, commercial, multi-residential, farmland, industrial, etc) will pay for its portion of the overall tax levy.

Education taxes are included in the same bill as property taxes, but that tax rate is set by the province.

About the Author

Jeff Walters

Reporter/Editor

Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Jeff is proud to work in his hometown, as well as throughout northwestern Ontario. Away from work, you can find him skiing (on water or snow), curling, out at the lake or flying.

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