Vancouver City Counselors to consider 4.9 per cent property tax increase



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City of Vancouver officials are asking counselors to consider a 4.9 per cent property tax increase for 2019.

Staff has demanded three reasons for the proposed hike, including inflation, the new employee health taxi provincial – to replace the MSP premiums elimination – and the cost of new infrastructure.

If approved, the 4.9 percent will consider a special $ 108 next year for the homeowner, $ 41 for the resident owner and an increase of $ 193 for the medium-sized business owners.

Staff proposes an operating budget of $ 1.5 billion for 2019 and a new capital budget of $ 371 million.

In its budget document, the city says there was a significant gap between delivery growth and revenue growth, requiring a higher tax increase than was approved in 2018.

That budget approved an increase of 4.24 per cent, which was higher than the planned 3.9 percent.

"We have the problem of maintaining core services at the level of our residents and businesses, while at the same time make the right investment for the future to ensure that we can respond to the pressures and opportunities of a growing city," writes City Manager Sudhu John in the budget document.

The proposed 2019 increase of 4.9 per cent reflects a number of factors, including inflation (2.2 percent), the property tax impact of the new employer Provincial Government (1.7 percent), and the additional investments in infrastructure renewed in the 2019- 2022 Capital Plan (one per cent).

The budget also puts a 8.7 per cent increase in utility fees.

The hike would consider an increase of $ 119 for a median single family homeowner and a $ 115 increase for a median commercial property.

The graph of a report prepared to explain the 2019 City of Vancouver budget shows proposed property tax increases for Median home owners and commercial property owners. (City of Vancouver)

The employer's health tax was announced by the government in February's budget. It will charge companies a percentage of their Payroll under a progressive taxation system.

Companies with a payroll below $ 500,000 will pay nothing and companies with a payroll over $ 1.5 million will pay 1,95 per cent of their payroll.

In the spring. The City of Vancouver said it spent $ 5 million in MSP payments in 2017 but spent $ 20 million in 2020 with the payroll

Priorities in the 2019 budget include increasing housing availability and affordability. The city says the first year of the Empty Homes Tax Program produced close to $ 30 million in net revenue to help with initiatives.

Counselors will get a presentation on the 2019 budget on Tuesday at 9:30 am.

City officials say that the average combined municipal property tax and utility fees for the Median single family home in 2018 is $ 3,814. Vancouver came down below $ 3,609.

The city also says over the last 10 years, Vancouver has faced some of the lowest property tax increase across Metro Vancouver. The 10-year average for Vancouver is below three per cent.

This graphic shows property tax increases in Vancouver are under the regional average over the last 10 years. (City of Vancouver)

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