Vancouver councillors approve property tax hike

by Paolo Taruc on 15 Dec 2017
The Vancouver city government has approved a 4.24% hike on property tax, as part of its capital and operating budget for next year.

During the vote Tuesday, the hike was approved by all councilors of Vision Vancouver, as well as Mayor Gregor Robertson.

The hike amounts to an extra $94 per year for a median single family home a median single family home (assessed at $1.82m), and an extra $32 per year for a median strata unit (assessed at $609,000).

Global News reported that hike was originally set at 3.9%, but Vision Councillor Raymond Louie proposed to raise it further by 0.34%. NPA Councillor George Affleck blasted the move, and pointed put there was no consultation with the councilors or the public.

“If he needed to find a couple million bucks, I’m pretty sure if he dug around the budget in next year’s finances, he could have found it,” said Affleck as quoted by Global News.

A statement from the city government said Vancouver has historically had one of the lowest average property tax increases among Metro Vancouver municipalities at 2.3% (2013-2017). The same statement said funds from the hike will be earmarked for the following:
  • additional funding for implementation of the council-approved Housing Vancouver strategy
  • support for priority actions regarding Historical Discrimination Against Chinese People in Vancouver, including the Chinatown UNESCO bid
  • additional social grants
  • an added investment to help reduce development permit wait times
In total, the council approved a $1.407bn-operating budget and a $426.4m- capital budget for next year. “We’re taking bold action to get more urgently needed affordable housing built, including adding more temporary modular, social, and rental housing throughout Vancouver and adding staff to reduce the time it takes to get permits for new housing and renovations,” said Robertson.

Related stories:
Ottawa's commercial real estate fees among Canada's highest – report
New housing plan splits opinion

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