Vancouver City Council has approved a 0.5% increase on property tax in order to provide more funds to support front line services to combat the fentanyl overdose crisis.
The increase was approved today as part of Vancouver’s 2017 Budget. The total property tax increase for 2017 will be 3.9 %.
- City of Vancouver to host public forum on opioid crisis
- BC opening more overdose response centres
- An unthinkable tragedy: Mothers of opioid overdose victims speak out
In November alone, Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services responded to 735 overdoses and were required to use life-saving naloxone kits 35 times. These figures were both the highest monthly totals of overdoses and naloxone use in 2016.
Last week, the City hosted a public discussion to address the ongoing opioid crisis. In 2016 alone, 620 people have died in BC due to opioid overdoses. Out of those deaths, 124 have occurred in Vancouver.
The 2017 Budget will also invest in:
- Improving City services like reducing wait times for permits and licensing
- Investing in child care and City services like libraries and fire response
- MakingVancouver a greener city
- Addressing housing needs and building new affordable housing
“The City of Vancouver plays a strong role in supporting our city’s economic leadership and enhancing the livability and quality of life for our residents,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson, in a release.
“Our economy is thriving and we are responding to a diverse set of needs as our city struggles with the fentanyl crisis and a huge demand for affordable housing.”