Vancouver approves 2018 budget, including last-minute property tax increase

Dec 14 2017, 1:04 am

A last-minute property tax increase was approved as part of the City of Vancouver’s 2018 budget on Tuesday.

An increase of 3.9% had originally been put forth, but on Tuesday, council also approved an additional tax increase of 0.34% increase, bringing the total increase for 2018 to 4.24%

The additional 0.34% was proposed by Councillor Raymond Louie.

In approving the budget, the city said the additional 0.34% was to help fund the implementation of the Council-approved Housing Vancouver strategy, as well as support for priority actions regarding Historical Discrimination Against Chinese People in Vancouver, including the Chinatown UNESCO bid.

In total, the city has approved a $1.407 billion operating budget and $426.4 million capital budget for 2018.

Broken down by household, this means that the total property tax increase for a median single family home (assessed at $1.823 million) amounts to an extra $94 per year and $32 per year for a median strata unit (assessed at $609,000).

Other key budget items include:

  • More access to winter shelters, warming centres, and temporary modular homes
  • Additional funding to respond to the escalating opioid crisis
  • Funding for childcare, almost double the commitment in 2017
  • More police officers and civilian staff
  • Engineering utilities and transportation investments including for water, sewer, and solid waste, major and local road improvements, and improvements for snow response readiness

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said he is pleased with how things played out.

“This year’s budget maintains the essential services that residents and businesses rely on in their day-to-day lives, while also expanding investments to address our city’s changing needs,” he said. “These investments will ensure that we improve Vancouver’s livability for all of our residents.”

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