Edmonton property tax data and foreign home ownership

I was quite interested to read about Calgary Property Tax Data and foreign home ownership. With the housing market across Canada going wild, the Federal Government has recently announced a ban on foreign homebuyers. I asked Edmonton Administration to pull a city inquiry similar to Calgary as to where property tax assessments are being mailed.

I remain deeply concerned about equity and affordable housing and support new measures to help provide stability and a home for all of us. I'm working with other council colleagues to explore other taxation and assessment tools to provide equity, resiliency, and stability in our climate emergency.

I’m inspired by what Mayor Stewart has accomplished in Vancouver in terms of an empty homes tax, and see that he recently proposed increasing the tax to five percent and improving compliance. (https://council.vancouver.ca/20220426/documents/b3.pdf?mc_cid=ac23ded342&mc_eid=12d1178433)

An article in the April 19 edition of the Calgary Herald provided some interesting information regarding the mailing addresses of property tax notices. It showed that of the 531,956 residential properties in Calgary, only 19,756 tax notices were sent to addresses outside city limits. 

Edmonton Administration shared that Edmonton’s tax notice distribution that shows a similar trend to Calgary. Of a total of 416,563 tax notices, 22,933 were sent outside City limits. These numbers include all properties, both residential and non-residential. 

Mailing Address Location Count Percent 

Edmonton 381,955 91.69% 

Canada 415,985 99.86% 

  • Alberta 404,888 97.20% 
  • British Columbia 6,151 1.48% 
  • All other provinces 4,946 1.19% 

Outside Canada 578 0.14% 

  • United States 423 0.10% 

TOTAL 416,563 100.0% 

As with the case of the Calgary analysis, it is important to note that mailing data are not a perfect indicator of where property owners live; however, general trends indicate that the vast majority of Edmonton property owners reside in Alberta.

From the Herald:

Data from the City of Calgary suggest foreign home ownership makes up only a tiny percentage of the overall housing stock, although exact numbers are difficult to pin down. It comes amid a red-hot local housing market and the announcement of a federal ban on foreign homebuyers.

The City of Calgary does not keep tabs on where property owners live or what their nationality is.

However, city officials were able to provide data about residential property tax assessments being mailed to an address outside the city. The information provided shows the country, U.S. state or Canadian province where the bill is being mailed.

The numbers, which are accurate up to Jan. 5 of this year, are not a perfect representation of property owners who live outside the city. For instance, a Calgary homeowner who spends the majority of the year here could choose to have their assessment sent to a winter home in Texas.

Assessments could also be going to Calgary residents who are temporarily working in another country.

The data would also not show property owners living outside the city, but choosing to have their property tax documents sent to a local property management firm.

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