City Council approved an additional property tax increase of 0.34% a year above the 3.9% proposed in the draft budget - raising 2018 property taxes to 4.24%, the City of Vancouver announced December 12.
The extra tax revenues, said the council, are earmarked for:
• additional funding for implementation of the council-approved Housing Vancouver strategy, including the Empty Homes Tax;
• support for priority actions regarding Historical Discrimination Against Chinese People in Vancouver, including the Chinatown UNESCO bid;
• additional social grants; and
• added investment to help reduce development permit wait times.
The tax hike means that owners of a median single-family home in Vancouver (valued at $1.823 million) will pay an extra $94 in 2018 and owners of a median strata condo (assessed at $609,000) will pay an extra $32.
Mayor Gregor Robertson said, “This year’s budget maintains the essential services that residents and businesses rely on in their day-to-day lives, while also expanding investments to address our city’s changing needs.
“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.”
City council said that the property tax revenues in 2018 will also go towards helping the homeless, including more access to shelters and temporary modular homes, as well as increased funding to tackle the ongoing opioid crisis, recruiting more police and emergency responders, increased funding for childcare, and improving city infrastructure such as roads and snow response, and water and sewer systems.