10.7% property tax hike means council set to invest in Vancouver's future: mayor
Property taxes in Vancouver will jump by nearly 11 per cent this year after city councillors approved a $1.97 billion operating budget for 2023.
Council voted Tuesday to pass the budget which contains a property tax increase of 10.7 per cent, one per cent higher than the hike proposed last month and more than double the five per cent amount put forward by staff last November.
A statement from the city says It means average increases of $549 for business properties, $326 for single-family homes and $125 for condominiums, although the assessed value of each property will determine the specific amount.
It's the highest property tax increase in Vancouver in more than a decade, but Mayor Ken Sim says in a statement that the vote corrects artificially low rates approved by previous councils.
One per cent of the rate hike will go to the reserve fund and infrastructure renewal, three per cent will be directed to the police department, and 5.7 per cent goes to other city services and will be used as a hedge against uncertain costs.
Sim says the budget was challenging but the unanimous vote shows councillors "have chosen to invest in Vancouver's future."
"The investments … will lead to better quality roads and sidewalks with fewer potholes, cleaner streets and more frequent cleaning of public spaces, revitalized neighbourhoods, and for the first time in over a decade, police, fire, and mental health services are going to be properly funded," Sim says in his statement.
He says double-digit property tax increases "will not become the norm," and pledges that council will continue to search for cost savings.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 1, 2023.
The Canadian Press