What a 5% Property Tax Increase Means for Vancouver Taxpayers?

Balancing the $1.7 billion budget requires a $45 million cut in projected spending by 2022

Property taxes are going up again in Vancouver.

Which shouldn’t come as a surprise to taxpayers who over the past decade have seen one municipality after another increase to balance the operating budget.

This time, the current council aims to keep the property tax hike at five percent or less to balance a $1.7 billion budget.

To do that means cutting projected costs by $45 million by 2022.

The city’s finance team also recommended that the council cut spending in the 2019-2022 capital plan by approximately $43 million.

That’s a lot of cuts, but not unexpected when you consider the blow the pandemic has had on the city’s finances, with an $89 million loss of revenue last year and another $90 million loss expected this year.

Losses have been largely caused by reductions in parking revenues, licensing and program fees, and provincial revenue sharing from revenue generators such as casinos. Such losses translate into limited resources available for new programs or investments in 2022.

Images Courtesy of City of Vancouver

The council will meet on Dec. 1 to hear from city managers such as Police Chief Adam Palmer, Lon LaClaire, the city’s general manager of technical services, and Donnie Rosa, the general manager of the park administration.

Six days later, after also hearing citizens’ concerns about city spending, the council is scheduled to finalize the budget on December 7 and decide how much of a property tax hike will be needed to bring city services into line. operational by 2022.

Let’s say the council keeps the tax hike at five percent, which is the most likely scenario than four percent or three percent, which would mean layoffs.

So how does a five percent increase translate into dollars for a real estate owner?

Estimates of some average annual increases based on median property values ​​are as follows:

• $137 for a single-family home (estimated at $1.7 million)

• $57 for a condo or strata unit (estimated at $711,000)

• $247 for a commercial building (estimated at $1 million)

• $95 for a home overall (estimated at $1.2 million)

It is important to note that the actual tax bill for each property owner will differ from the above average amounts and will depend on the estimated value of the property.

It will also depend on the change in the appraised value of that property relative to the average change in that property class.

BC Assessment determines the estimated value of a property.

It’s also important to note that these estimates reflect city borough taxes only and exclude utilities, county school taxes, and taxes levied by other tax authorities, including TransLink, Metro Vancouver, BC Assessment, and the Municipal Finance Authority.

The total property tax for 2022 will be determined after approval of the final budget by the city council.

Citizens who want to tell the city how to spend taxpayers can sign up to speak at the December 1 meeting or submit questions or comments to the city council through the city’s website.

This will be the last budget vote for this council as elections will be held in October 2022 and budget deliberations take place every December.

mhowell@glaciermedia.ca

@Howellings

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