In Ontario, the COVID-19 pandemic creates property tax winners and losers

The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped the real estate market in Ontario, as elsewhere in Canada, with the counties girding the Greater Toronto Area experiencing an unprecedented run-up in prices.

The economic cross-currents of the past two years have transformed demand for commercial properties, too, with hotels, restaurants and other kinds of retail, for example, facing starkly different environments.

But those seismic shifts arenโ€™t showing up in property assessments and tax bills โ€“ and wonโ€™t for at least another two years. Thatโ€™s because the Ontario government has, again, delayed the provincewide assessment originally slated for 2020, leaving property valuations moored in the market conditions of Jan. 1, 2016.

The result is that property owners that have seen the biggest growth in values are getting a temporary break, at the expense of their peers with decreases or below-average increases, who are paying more than their fair share.

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