Despite voting against the idea, Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart has sent a letter to the provincial government on behalf of city council, asking that the province rescind its new ‘School Tax’ surcharge.
The tax is set to be implemented in January.
The move comes after Vancouver City councillor Rebecca Bligh brought forward a motion to look at a”proposed alternative to provincial encroachment on the City of Vancouver’s municipal tax base.”
The new charge would apply to homes valued at over $3 million, billed at a 2% annual rate for homes between $3 million and $4 million and 4% for homes above the $4 million threshold.
The motion states that unlike the provincial school tax, and municipal property taxes, “the province’s new surtax is not based on an equitable mill rate – it is based on a straight percentage of assessed value and assumed wealth, and it sets a controversial precedent.”
The motion to send a letter passed by a vote of 7-3, with Stewart, COPE Councillor Jean Swanson, and OneCity Councillor Christine Boyle voting against the idea.
In the letter, Stewart writes that “at the core of our request is the Provinces surcharge on the provincial school tax represents an encroachment on the City of Vancouver’s municipal tax base.”
He adds that the city council “has heard from many speakers at our well-attended public meetings expressing the hardship they were experiencing due to higher property-based taxes which have increased as their property values have also increased.”
The letter is dated December 14.