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The impact of property taxation on business investment in Alberta

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tax rates, non-residential property, business investments

Abstract (summary)

Alberta municipalities rely heavily on property taxes levied on residential and non-residential sectors to finance local public services. This paper investigates the effects of non-residential property tax rate on business investment using panel data from 17 Alberta cities over the 1998-2017 period. We find that a one mill increase in the non-residential property tax rate is associated with a $49 decrease in commercial and industrial real capita investment. Based on this estimate, we calculate the marginal cost of public funds for the non-residential property tax, which range from 3.12 for Lethbridge to 1.21 for Leduc. We also find that business taxes that are levied on the rental value of a business property have a negative impact on investment, while higher expenditures on municipal services do not have a significant effect on business investment.

Publication Information

Dahlby B, Ferede E, Khanal M (2021). The impact of property taxation on business investment in Alberta. SPP Research Papers, 14(8).


Item Type





Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC)