4.9 per cent property tax hike part of Vancouver draft budget
The Vancouver skyline is seen from Chopper 9 in this photo by CTV's Pete Cline.
A controversial new tax from the province is among the reasons the City of Vancouver is thinking about upping residents' property tax by nearly 5 per cent.
In its draft budget, staffers suggest an increase of 4.9 per cent mainly due to the new employer health tax, investments in infrastructure and inflation.
Scroll down or click here to read the highlights of the draft 2019 budget.
If approved, the hike will mean an extra $41 a year for the median strata unit, assessed at a value of $700,000. Those living in the median single family home, assessed at $1.8 million, will pay an extra $108 a year.
The median business property owner will pay $193 extra, the city said.
Of that proposed 4.9 per cent hike, the city will need 1.7 per cent to cover increased costs relating to the employer health tax, according to a plan that will be presented before council in two weeks.
Tabled last month, the employer health tax will reduce the strain on individuals and businesses, the province claims. But rallies were held earlier this year as business owners voiced concerns that an increase in taxes may force them to lay off employees or reduce benefits to make up for it.
In addition to blaming the tax, the city also says it will need one per cent of its property tax increase to fund investments in infrastructure renewal products scheduled to occur within the next three years. Another 2.2 per cent is earmarked for inflation and wage costs of existing city services, as well as extra funds required to maintain or improve them.
The city is proposing a 2019 operating budget of $1.516 billion, and another $372 million for new capital projects. The budget proposal features a total capital expenditure budget of $568 million.
The city also hopes to make up the funds through a combined utility fee increase of 8.7 per cent, which it says is due to increases in the cost of those services.
Council will consider the proposed budget at a meeting on Dec. 11, and is expected to vote on Dec. 18.
Homeowners looking for more information can read the plan online, or attend a public briefing next Monday. The meeting will also be streamed live on the city's Facebook page.
Anyone with questions can submit them through the city's website, or can register to speak at the Dec. 11 meeting.
Below are highlights from the draft budget. Reading this on a mobile device? Open the document here.