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4.5% property tax hike will help fund affordable housing, policing: Vancouver mayor
Condos and apartment buildings are seen in downtown Vancouver, B.C., on Feb.2, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver councillors approved a 4.5-per-cent property tax increase Tuesday in a move the city's mayor says will help create more affordable housing as well as boost resources for police and firefighters.
That's down from the from the 4.9-per-cent increase originally proposed in the draft budget.
"Budget 2019 passes with key investments in affordable housing, permitting times, additional staffing for fire and police and a minor reduction to the tax increase" Mayor Kennedy Stewart tweeted after Tuesday's council meeting.
"I’m very proud of the co-operation of councillors and thank our staff for their hard work."
That tax hike, which comes into effect next year, means the owner of a typical, $700,000-condo in the city will pay $41 more per year. For a house worth $1.2 million, the tax hike amounts to $76 more annually. Those who own properties valued near the $2 million mark will face around $100 in extra taxes.
Tuesday's approval of the new tax came as part of Stewart's first budget as Vancouver mayor.
According to the initial proposal, 1.7 per cent of the tax increase was intended in part to help the city cover increased costs related to the employer health tax, a provincial initiative aimed at making health care more affordable as Premier John Horgan's NDP moves towards eliminating Medical Service Plan premiums.
Another one per cent of the hike would be used to fund investments in infrastructure renewal products scheduled to occur within the next three years, the draft budget said, and 2.2 per cent would be earmarked for inflation and wage costs of existing city services.
The 2019 budget includes $1.516 billion for operating costs and another $371 million for new capital projects, bringing the total capital expenditure budget to $568 million.