Further to my recent posts on Lethbridge rent being unaffordable and Lethbridge workers being paid the lowest in Alberta, I decided to research property taxes in Lethbridge. What I discovered was that among all 18 Alberta cities, Lethbridge has the highest property taxes.
For residential properties, technically, Wetaskiwin is higher, by about 1.15 points. As well, Lethbridge’s residential property tax rate of 11.30 is more than 2 points higher than the provincial average of 9.28.
However, for non-residential properties, Wetaskiwin’s tax rate is 1.31 points lower than Lethbridge. Its non-residential tax rate of 24.33 is nearly 9 points above the provincial average of 15.47.
Lethbridge has the highest non-residential property tax rate and the second-highest residential property tax rate. However, when you account for both residential and non-residential rates, Lethbridge has the highest overall property tax rate.
We often frame property taxes as affecting homeowners, but they affect renters, too. It’d be rare to find a property owner who rents out their home without adding the cost of the property tax to the rent. Arguably, such property owners aren’t affected by property taxes, since they simply pass them on to their tenants.
And given that roughly 1 in 3 households in Lethbridge rents their home, it’s not a segment of the population that we can keep ignoring.