Vancouver proposes 3.9% property tax hike for 2nd year in a row, budget also includes a 7.9% increase in utility fees and a 2% increase for recreation fee!s.

November 23, 2017

The City of Vancouver is proposing a 3.9 per cent property tax hike to help pay for its 2018 budget.

It includes new spending the city says is needed on actions to “address housing supply, affordability and critical social issues.”

The proposed increase amounts to an extra $87 per median single family home (assessed at $1.823 million) or $29 for a median strata unit (assessed at $609,000).

Vancouver taxes

A chart by the City of Vancouver showing what a property tax bill looks like for a median single-family home in various Metro Vancouver municipalities. (City of Vancouver)

In a news release, the City of Vancouver said the average increase in the last five years was 2.3 per cent and overall tax rates were still “in the mid-range among Metro Vancouver municpalities.”

The city said the majority of the tax increase will pay for ongoing city services and fixed costs such as wages, energy, rent and maintenance.

The remainder is targeted toward new investments aimed at improving the housing supply, affordability and social issues, according to the city’s statement.

Funding will be aimed at a variety of initiatives, including:

  • Enabling the opening of 600 new units of temporary modular housing for the most vulnerable, including low-income residents.
  • Funding for affordable housing, including land acquisition for social housing in the Downtown Eastside and redevelopment of Rodden Lodge and the Evelyne Saller Centre.
  • Additional staffing to reduce wait times for development permits, including faster approvals for affordable housing.
  • A new Indigenous Healing and Wellness Centre in the Downtown Eastside.
  • Additional funding will be used to respond to the opioid crisis and improve streets, utilities, facilities and provide snow response.

The budget also includes a 7.9 per cent increase in utility fees, and two per cent increase for recreation fees.

Last year, the city also passed a budget with a 3.9 per cent property tax increase — the same hike being proposed this year.

A public hearing on the budget will be held Dec. 1 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., with city council set to vote Dec. 12.

The full draft of the budget is available here.