Property tax is a tax on land and property. It is based on the assessed value of a property. If you own a property, you will have to pay property tax. It is used to pay for city services such as police, the fire department, and public transit as well as elementary and secondary education.
Property taxes in Atlantic Canada are primarily made up of two components: a municipal tax and a provincial tax. The former is used to fund municipal expenditures including city services, police and local infrastructure. The latter is used to fund services such as education and healthcare.
Property Tax Page
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Property tax in Nova Scotia consists of:
In general, the property tax will consist of a general tax, a provincial tax, and other special taxes depending on the municipality. The breakdown of the general tax rate will differ across municipalities. These special taxes may fund water services, roads, and other services.
Property tax in New Brunswick consists of:
The total tax for residential properties depends on whether or not the property is the owner’s primary residence or owner-occupied. If the property is not owner-occupied or a secondary residence—for example, if you have rented it out—you will have to pay both a provincial tax and a local tax. Otherwise, only a local tax is charged on owner-occupied properties.. All other types of properties will have to pay both taxes. The breakdown of the tax rate will differ across municipalities and local service districts.
Property tax in Prince Edward Island consists of:
The total tax for residential properties depends on whether or not you qualify for the Provincial Tax Credit Program which significantly reduces the provincial tax for those eligible (You can refer to the “How Property Tax Rates are Determined” section below for more details). The breakdown of the tax rate will differ across municipalities.
Property tax in Newfoundland and Labrador consists of:
The mil rate will differ across municipalities as each council decides how much funding is needed through the tax. The mil rate is multiplied by the taxable assessment of a property and divided over 1000 to determine the final tax bill.
In general, the property tax rates in Atlantic Canada can be broken down into a municipal or local rate and a provincial rate. Municipal property tax rates are determined based on the budget needs of the individual municipalities. Municipalities consider their expected spending and other revenue and use property taxes to make up for the rest. The specific property tax rate for a certain year depends on the budget of the municipality and its total assessment base (their tax base). If more tax revenue is necessary, tax rates will need to go up, and vice-versa.
The provincial rate is established by the province and funds essential services such as education, healthcare, social services, and the justice systems.
In Nova Scotia, there are different rates for commercial and residential properties within each municipality. Rates will also differ depending on where the property is located within the municipality. For example, Halifax applies different municipal rates for properties in urban areas than those in suburban areas. On top of the general rates, there is also a provincial tax determined by the province that includes the mandatory education tax contribution, property valuation tax, correction services tax, and Metropolitan Housing Authority tax.
In New Brunswick, rates vary between by local service districts (LSDs) and municipalities as well as by property type. Properties can be residential or non-residential, and can also be owner-occupied or non-owner-occupied. All properties have to pay both the provincial portion and the local portion of the property tax except for those that are classified as owner-occupied residential properties, which only have to pay the local portion of the tax.
A local service district or LSD is an unincorporated area in New Brunswick. These areas are governed by the Minister of Environment and Local Government who works with the LSD’s Advisory Committee to establish local services in the area such as street lighting and fire protection. The Minister determines the local property tax rate for individual LSDs.
In PEI, there are different rates for commercial and non-commercial properties. Both types are required to pay a provincial portion and a municipal portion of the total property tax but non-commercial property owners may be eligible for a provincial tax credit which significantly reduces the total amount of provincial tax they would have to pay. Since 2016, the credit subsidizes one-third of the provincial tax. You can apply for the credit if:
In Newfoundland and Labrador, there are different rates determined for residential and commercial properties. Depending on the municipality, the rate will also differ for other reasons such as whether the property receives water and sewage services, is business-occupied, or if the owner is a senior. For each category, the rate is established as a single mil rate which is multiplied by the total taxable assessment value and divided over 1000 to determine the total property tax.