Questions about property tax

Residential Property Tax

Where do I pay/inquire about my taxes?

Payments and/or inquiries concerning City of Guelph property taxes can be made at City Hall, 1 Carden Street, Guelph, and at most financial institutions.

  • By mail addressed to Tax Office, 1 Carden Street, Guelph, ON N1H 3A1.
  • At payment drop box located west side of building.
  • Post-dated cheques accepted and held until instalment due date.
  • By telephone using the fifteen digit tax roll number. Contact your bank for details.
  • By Online Banking through your financial institution. Contact your bank for details.
  • Pre-authorized payments directly from your bank account.
  • By credit card

I am on a pre-authorized tax payment plan yet I still received a bill – why?

It depends on the type of pre-authorized payment plan you belong to. For example:

  • If you are on the due date instalment plan, the bill is sent to inform you how much will be deducted from your bank account on the due date. The stub portion of your bill should indicate that you are on pre-authorized payment plan. If it does not, please contact the Tax Office at (519) 837-5605 to ensure we have your proper information on your account.
  • If your pre-authorized payments are withdrawn monthly, you will receive the final tax bill only. This bill is sent to you, along with a letter to inform you what your total yearly taxes will be and what your final monthly payments will be. The stub portion of your bill should indicate that you are on pre-authorized payment plan.

My mortgage company pays my taxes. Why did I receive a bill?

We have no record of your mortgage company on your account. Contact your bank for instructions. You should request that your bank contact us to ensure we record their interest on your account. This will ensure all future bills will be sent to them. To avoid a penalty on your account you should contact your bank immediately.

How much of the year does the interim tax cover?

The interim tax bill is a payment on account towards your total yearly taxes. According to legislation, an interim payment can be as much as 50% of your previous year’s total taxes. This interim payment will be deducted from your final bill when it is issued later.

I had a favourable Assessment Review Board decision / minutes of settlement / reconsideration but the assessment change has not been reflected on the interim tax bill

The Municipal Act allows a municipality to issue an interim tax bill for up to half of the previous year’s taxes prior to the adoption of the City’s budget and setting of current year’s tax rates. Once the tax rates have been set for the current year, an adjustment will be made to your account using the new assessment figures.

My financial institution’s online/telephone banking requires entry of a 15-digit account code to open and pay my taxes. Where can I find the 15-digit account number?

The roll number shown on your tax bill is the account number that you will need to use.

If I do not pay my taxes by the due date will I be charged a penalty?

Yes. A penalty for late payment of 1.25% per month is added the day following the due date and the first day of each calendar month thereafter. Payments on account are applied first toward the outstanding interest and penalty, then to the oldest outstanding taxes.

I received a tax bill for a property I no longer own. What should I do?

If you no longer own the property, please forward the notice to the proper owner or return it to the Tax Office, indicating to whom the transfer of title has been made. To prevent misdirected tax bills, please advise the Tax Office in writing of mailing address changes. Failure to receive a tax bill could still result in penalty and interest charges of 1.25% per month applied to unpaid accounts. Send address changes to the City of Guelph, Tax Office, 1 Carden Street, Guelph, Ontario N1H 3A1.

Questions about property taxes for condominiums

Some condominium owners pay property taxes for municipal services in addition to paying private companies to perform related services like waste collection and snow removal.

That’s because Ontario’s property tax system is not a user-pay system. It’s based on the principle that property owners share the cost of providing municipal services for our entire community – regardless of whether or not an individual taxpayer makes use of a certain City service.

Municipal programs, services, and facilities are funded collectively by residential, business, commercial, and industrial property owners.

Why should property owners pay taxes for services they don’t use?

It’s a way for everyone to share the cost of delivering essential public programs, facilities and services. Even if we choose not to use a particular service, it’s important that everyone contributes to police, fire, and emergency services, libraries, recreation centres and other valuable community assets.

For example, businesses don’t have children but a portion of their property taxes is used to cover the cost of public education; public education is an essential and valuable part of life in our community.

Why do some condo owners pay property taxes for municipal services and then pay private companies additional fees for snow removal?

Property taxes cover the cost of winter control activities for all public roads, making it safer for everyone to travel throughout the community. Property owners are responsible for removing snow from their properties.

Snow removed from private properties still ends up in municipal stormwater drains and sewers which are maintained and repaired using property taxes.

Why do some condo owners pay property taxes for municipal services and then pay private companies additional fees for waste removal?

Our property tax system is not a user-pay system; we all contribute to the municipal waste management system regardless of whether we use municipal waste collection.

Condominium corporations may use private waste collection companies for various reasons. Some prefer not to leave waste at the curb for collection. Some properties may not be accessible in Guelph’s waste collection vehicles. The City works with condominium corporations to determine the best way to collect and manage waste for each property. To learn more call 519-767-0598 or email waste@guelph.ca.

Can the City refund property taxes for condominiums?

No. The property tax system in Ontario is determined by the Provincial government. The City has no legal authority to change how properties are assessed or alter the property tax structure.

How are property taxes calculated?

The Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) assesses the value of all properties in Ontario based on several factors including location, age, size, lot size, and property type (single-detached home, townhouse, multi-residential, commercial, industrial, retails etc.) to determine their market value.

The City of Guelph sets a tax rate for municipal services, and the Province of Ontario sets a rate for public education.

The tax rate is applied to the assessed value of the property.