Calgary's Cost of Living

Statistics Canada's Consumer Price Index (CPI) – commonly referred to as the inflation rate - provides a broad measure of the cost of living in Canada. While there are other ways to measure price changes, the CPI is the most important indicator because of its widespread use, for example, to calculate changes in government payments such as the Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security.

Through the monthly and annual CPI, Statistics Canada tracks the retail price of a representative shopping basket of about 600 goods and services from an average household's expenditure: food, housing, transportation, furniture, clothing and recreation.


Calculating Calgary’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) / Calgary’s Inflation Rate

Prices are measured against a base year. The base year is currently 2002, and the basket for that year is given the value of 100. For example, in 2014, the Consumer Price Index for Calgary had reached 132.7, which means that what you could buy for $100 in 2002 cost $132.70 in 2014.

The Alberta Government’s Place-to-Place Price Comparison Survey for Selected Alberta Communities is produced in order to meet the needs of individuals, businesses and other organizations looking for "cost-of-living" information. The report measures and compares price levels for a basket of goods and services in 34 communities in Alberta.


Cost of living comparison

For a more detailed, cost-of-living analysis of major cities in Canada, Calgary Economic Development has provided tables on the costs of owning or renting a home using data from Economic Research Institute’s Relocation Assessor. Their methodology uses the following categories in its modeling analysis: consumables, transportation, health services, rent/mortgage, utilities, insurance, and income/payroll taxes. See the Cost of living comparison here.


Calgary's tax advantage

Calgarians enjoy a low tax regime: With no provincial sales tax, no payroll tax, no health care premiums and the lowest fuel tax among provinces, Albertans across all income ranges will generally continue to pay the lowest overall taxes compared to other provinces.

To learn more about Calgary's business tax environment, visit the Cost of Business section.


Alberta income taxes

The Province of Alberta implemented a progressive personal income tax rate program in 2015. The rates for the 2016 tax year are shown below:

Taxable Income Tax Rate
On first $125,000 10%
On next $25,000, from $125,000 to $150,000 12%
On next $55,000, from $150,000 to $200,000 13%
On next $100,000, from $200,000 to $300,000 14%
Above $300,000 15%

 

Albertans will continue to enjoy the highest basic personal amount among provinces. In 2015, this means that no personal income tax will be paid on the first $18,214 of taxable income.


Calgary residential real estate property taxes

Billed to the property owner each May, property tax is calculated using the property's annual assessed value, as found on the assessment notice, and the property tax rate approved by City of Calgary Council.

In order to calculate taxes, a tax rate is established. The tax rate reflects the amount of taxes to be paid for every $1 of assessed value.

Assessment Class Municipal Tax Rate Provincial Tax Rate Total Tax Rate
Residential (2016) 0.0037090 0.0024648 0.0061738

 


Residential property taxes and utility charges survey

The 2013 Residential Property Taxes and Utility Charges Survey, conducted by City of Calgary’s Chief Financial Officer’s Department, provides data and analysis from 17 participating Canadian municipalities allowing comparison of residential property taxes and utility charges.

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