Course Description

This online course is 36 learning hours over twelve weeks, including 7.5 hours of live online sessions. It is recommended that students spend a minimum of 3 hours each week on coursework. Students may choose to complete more hours of work on the course in order to explore the content in more depth. 

The emphasis of this course is on exploring current policy issues with respect to the property tax by providing a framework for analysis and then applying that framework to the tax. The course provides information on how the property tax is administered in Canadian jurisdictions. Since most provinces have websites that describe the details of property assessment and taxation and since the readings for this course provide province-by-province descriptions of the tax, the modules in this course generally provide only some examples from specific provinces to illustrate how the tax works. 

Course Outline

Module 1: The Role of Property Tax in Municipal Finance

This module provides an introduction to the role of property tax in municipal finance, describes public finance criteria for evaluating taxes, and reviews some of the economic effects of property tax.

Module 2: Defining and Calculating Property Tax

This module describes what is included in the property tax base and then discusses how property is assessed for tax purposes. It also also looks at assessment administration.

Module 3: Setting the Property Tax Rate

This module reviews the administration of property tax including identification of properties, preparation of the assessment roll, setting of tax rates, issuing tax bills, collecting taxes, and enforcing tax collection.

Module 4: Property Tax Measures and Relief

This module examines and evaluates property tax relief measures, such as property tax credits, tax deferrals for seniors, exemptions, homestead exemptions, or assessment credits. 

Module 5: Property Tax Reform

This module focuses on property tax reform in different Canadian jurisdictions and examines potential policy issues arising from property tax reform.

Module 6: Financing Municipalities

This module describes and evaluates the use of other land-based taxes in Canada, such as land transfer taxes, development charges, and land value capture taxes.

What You Will Learn

  • Explain the important role of property tax in municipal finance in Canada and elsewhere
  • Describe the unique characteristics of the property tax
  • Analyze the economic effects of the property tax
  • Describe what is included in the property tax base and what types of properties are excluded
  • Explain how the assessment system works
  • Describe how property tax rates can be set to achieve different objectives
  • Describe and evaluate the use of land transfer taxes in Canada
  • Describe how development charges are used in Canada and evaluate them according to public finance criteria


The Faculty of OLCD recommends an intermediate level of English language proficiency for the most effective learning and participation in our online and face-to-face courses. A list of minimum recommended scores on some common English tests can be found on our website. If you have questions about your English language proficiency and ability to succeed in this course, please contact openlearning@dal.ca.

Recommended For

  • Public sector professionals
  • Financial analysts
  • Policy analysts

Applies Towards the Following Certificates

Enrol Now - Select a section to enrol in
Section Title
Property Taxation and Assessment
Online - Self-Paced
Sep 06, 2024 to Nov 29, 2024
Online - Scheduled
7:00PM to 8:30PM
Sep 18, 2024 to Nov 13, 2024
Schedule and Location
Total Learning Hours
  • Online Campus - Atlantic Time
Instruction Delivery Method(s)
Course Fee(s)
Tuition Fee non-credit $1,095.00
Required Software
A webcam and microphone/headset will be required for the live sessions.
Section Notes

This course has scheduled written assignments and discussions within the term time frame. There will also be 5 facilitated online sessions - click on View Details for dates. *Please note: Live session dates may be subject to change based on instructor schedule.* Attendance at live sessions is required to obtain the full participation grade for the course.

The course site will be open at 4:00 PM Atlantic Time on the course start date.

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