3.5% property tax hike approved for all Metro Vancouver households in 2022

Nov 1 2021, 3:42 pm

Households across Metro Vancouver will be paying more for their water supply, sewage connections, solid waste disposal, and regional parks in 2022 as a steep multi-year upward climb in annual regional property tax begins.

On Friday, the board of directors for Metro Vancouver Regional District approved a 3.5%  increase in the regional district’s property tax, with households to pay an average of $595 for all regional services. This represents a $21 increase over the average of $574 in 2021. However, it is lower than the previously anticipated 2022 increase of 6.4%, or $38, to $612.

A five-year financial budget, ending in 2026, was also approved by the board of directors. The plan will grow the regional property tax by 66% until the end of this period compared to 2021. The average regional property tax will go up by $62, or 10.4%, to $657 in 2023; $78, or 11.9%, to $735 in 2024; $98, or 13.3%, to $833 in 2025; and $119, or 14.3%, to $952 in 2026.

The 2022 budget will also mark the first time the regional district’s annual operating budget will exceed $1 billion, growing from $948 million in 2021 to $1.018 billion in 2022.

Multi-billion dollar projects to upgrade and expand sewerage treatment plants and clean water supply infrastructure — along with the resulting increased operating and maintenance costs — are fuelling the steep increases in not only the regional property tax but also user fees for households and businesses.

As well, the regional district has been expanding its mandate by building more affordable housing on property it owns and establishing Invest Vancouver — a new economic investment and attraction agency that provides the region with its own version of the Vancouver Economic Commission.

The regional district is also in the process of considering a significant hike in the sewerage development cost charge (DCC) on future new residential and non-residential buildings, as well as a brand new regional DCC to support water supply projects.

The board of directors for the regional district is comprised of elected mayors and councillors from municipal governments across Metro Vancouver, with each vote on a decision made by a director weighted based on the population of their jurisdiction. Directors are allocated one vote for every 20,000 people in their jurisdiction to up to a total of five votes.

Municipal governments are also facing some upward pressure in increasing their respective property taxes, especially the City of Vancouver. City councils across the region are scheduled to deliberate their 2022 municipal budgets and potential property tax hikes over the coming weeks and months.

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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