Draft Vancouver budget proposes 9.7% property tax increase this year
The City of Vancouver released its draft 2023 budget on Tuesday evening, with a proposed 9.7 per cent property tax increase.
City staff are proposing a $1.96-billion draft operating budget.
One per cent of the property tax increase is for additional infrastructure renewal, one per cent is for reserve replenishment for financial sustainability, 2.7 per cent is for Vancouver Police Department (VPD) services, and five per cent is for funding across city services, according to a council report.
ABC Vancouver Coun. Mike Klassen says the "vast majority" of the numbers that will be reflected in the budget are out of council's control.
"We have labour costs and we also have inflation numbers. We're starting to see from some of the other municipalities around the region that these pressures are coming to bear. And I think Vancouver will probably be in the same boat," he said in an interview.
"But we're certainly going to look at that budget, make sure that it expresses what voters told us last fall (during the election)."
He says Vancouver residents want more public safety, better cleanliness of the city and an "empathetic approach to mental health in the community."
Klassen says there are currently no plans for budget cuts.
OneCity Coun. Christine Boyle says ABC made many "expensive campaign promises" and questions how the party will be able to achieve them.
"Governing is harder than campaigning and they really are looking at a challenge on this budget in order to balance those priorities and I hope they aren't balanced on the backs of residents really struggling to get by," she told CBC News.
Council is set to hear from the public about the proposed budget on Feb. 28 and will vote on it sometime in March.