There are many different bills you will have once you buy property, no matter where it is that you buy it. These bills include your mortgage payments, your home insurance, power, water, heating, and of course your property taxes. Property taxes tend to be the real expense for people who are tempted into buying large homes. Before you buy any property in Toronto, use this guide to figure out how much to budget for property taxes.
Tax rates are the same regardless of which neighborhood in Toronto you choose. What makes waterfront condominiums so much more lucrative than town houses is that the tax rates are a percentage of the assessed market value, so the more a home is worth the higher the taxes on it will be. Property assessments take time and money, so the city will probably be working on an estimate of the value of your property from a few years ago.
To estimate how much you will be paying in taxes, however, it's best to use the selling price of the home, which will be a little higher than the city's assessed value of the property you're looking for and will give you a little wiggle room. For residential properties like your condo, the tax rate is .8305702% of your home's value. This means that if your condo cost $250,000, you will be paying $2,076.43. If you live in an apartment, you do not have to pay property tax. This is the responsibility of your landlord.
If you own your own business in Toronto in addition to your home, your tax rate for your business will be different. Unless you get a tax break through one of the city's programs to encourage business growth, you will be paying between 3.50 and 3.69% in taxes. Farmlands and forests are important to the city's well being, so if you own these types of properties you will only have to pay .2076425% of their assessed value to the city. In order to combat rapidly rising property values, your tax payment cannot increase more than 5% over last year.
The city of Toronto's taxes consist of two parts: the city levy and the education levy. By owning a condo, you are helping to provide the funding that runs city infrastructure (for instance, the city council, waste pickup, firefighting, police services, and parks) and also providing funding to maintain schools and pay teachers in the Toronto school board district. These are all things that are necessary to maintain a healthy city. No services would be possible without property taxes, as they are a source of city revenue.
Some helpful links for you:
Municipal Property Assessment Corporation
Living in Toronto: Property Taxes
Toronto property tax calculator
Real estate advice including property tax options