MPA Major Research Papers

Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration


Political Science


Zack Taylor

Geographical Areas

Alberta, Ontario


Municipal property tax is one of the most important revenue sources for most local governments across the world. The extent to which local governments have control over property taxes is a critical factor – it determines the local revenues in relation with expenditures of services as well as their equity and fairness in relation to taxpayers. In Canada, provincial legislation governs property taxation. As result, municipal autonomy in setting property taxation varies depending on the province. This paper provides a descriptive comparative research of legal aspects of municipal property taxation in 10 mid-size municipalities in Alberta and Ontario. The study highlights variations in provincial laws and regulation on how municipalities administer, assess, levy taxes and how they deal with disputes. It also highlights variations on practice by reviewing the information included in the municipal financial information return. Findings demonstrate variation between the selected municipalities in Alberta and Ontario provinces in legal framework and practice – in property tax administration, assessment, classification and dispute resolution.