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Vancouver homeowners could get several years of near-double-digit property tax increases

The City of Vancouver is in dire financial straits that could leave homeowners on the hook for property tax increases of close to 10 per cent in each of the next five years.

In a budget presentation to council, city staff said the average increase in taxes for a residential strata owner could be $116 and the increase for a median single family detached home would be $304.

"Taxpayers can't afford year-on-year nine-per-cent tax hikes," said Carson Binda, B.C. director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

"That's going to cost average families hundreds of dollars a year. It's unacceptable and it's only going to make the problems in our city worse."

Council heard the projected budget shortfall is being driven by high inflation, upcoming collective bargaining with employees, and council initiatives like Ken Sim and A Better City Vancouver's plan to hire 100 additional police officers.

"We heard loud and clear during the campaign that public safety was one of the number one issues and we committed to fully funding both of our public safety services and that includes the Vancouver police," said ABC Coun. Sarah Kirby-Young.

City staff carefully stressed the projections for the potential tax increase would only be necessary if the city cannot find other areas to save or raise money.

"It weighs on Vancouverites already stressed with affordability," said OneCity Coun. Christine Boyle. "I want to make sure that where we are finding savings, it's not at the expense of residents who are already struggling."

The staff presentation is only the first step in a months-long budget process, and councillors plan to direct city staff to explore a number of ways to generate new revenue and find cost savings to offset the potential tax increase to homeowners. Top Stories

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