What British Columbians will be paying more for in 2017
The new year is upon us and while saving money may be one of your resolutions, that may be difficult with these rate and fee increases coming in 2017.
Get ready to pay up, folks.
Vancouver’s empty homes tax
The City of Vancouver approved an Empty Homes Tax in November. The tax is aimed at boosting rental rates in our city’s hot housing market. All non-principal residences left unoccupied for at least six months of the year will be subject to a 1% tax on the assessed value of the property, as of 2017.
Vancouver property tax increase to fight fentanyl crisis
On December 13, Vancouver City Council 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 total property tax increase for 2017 will be 3.9 %.
ICBC will raise its rates for basic insurance by 4.9%. In a release, ICBC says the rate hike is due to an increase in the number of crashes, claims being submitted, and the cost of settling those claims.
BC Hydro and FortisBC
BC Hydro will increase by 3.5% on April 1, 2017. Another 3% rate increase will occur in 2018.
Starting in 2017, FortisBC will increase electricity rates by 2.76 per cent. In October, FortisBC announced prices would be increasing from $1.14 per gigajoule to $2.05.
BC Ferries will likely implement a 1.9% fare increase for 2017.
- See more changes coming to BC Ferries here
In an attempt to create more curbside parking, the City of Vancouver has decided to increase parking meter rates. The City is aiming to adjust parking rates to free up a curbside occupancy of two spots per block. In order to do this, rates will be raised by one dollar per hour in very busy areas. Decisions on the number of meters affected by the rate change will be made in early 2017.
Now this is one increase many British Columbians will be looking forward to. The BC government announced that the province’s minimum wage will increase to at least $11.25 an hour and the liquor server minimum to $10 in September 2017.
In September 2016, BC minimum wage went up from $10.45 to $10.85 per hour.