Mon. Nov 29th, 2021

Balancing the $ 1.7 billion budget requires a $ 45 million cut in projected spending for 2022

Property taxes are rising again in Vancouver.

Which does not come as a surprise to taxpayers, who have seen city council after city council over the past decade raise taxes to balance the operating budget.

This time, the current council aims to keep the property tax increase at five percent or less to balance a budget of $ 1.7 billion.

To do so will mean that projected spending for 2022 will have to be cut by $ 45 million.

The city’s finance team has also recommended that the municipality reduce spending in the capital plan for 2019-2022 by approximately $ 43 million.

That’s a bit of a cut, but not unexpected considering the impact the pandemic has had on city finances, with a $ 89 million revenue loss last year and another $ 90 million loss expected this year.

Losses have been driven primarily by reductions in parking revenue, licensing and program fees, and provincial revenue sharing from revenue-generating like casinos. Such losses translate into limited funds available in 2022 for new programs or investments.

budget overview image
Photos courtesy of City of Vancouver

The council will meet on December 1 to hear from city leaders such as Police Chief Adam Palmer, Lon LaClaire, the city’s director general of engineering services, and Donnie Rosa, director general of the park board.

Six days later, after also hearing from citizens about their concerns about the city’s spending, the municipality is scheduled to finalize the budget on December 7 and decide how much of a property tax increase is needed to keep the city’s services running in 2022

Let’s say the municipality keeps the tax increase at five percent, which is the more likely scenario than four percent or three percent, which would mean layoffs.

So how does a five percent increase translate into dollars for a property owner?

Estimates for some average annual increases based on median property values ​​are as follows:

• $ 137 for a single-family home (valued at $ 1.7 million)

• $ 57 for a condominium or strata unit (valued at $ 711,000)

$ 247 for a commercial property (valued at $ 1 million)

• $ 95 for a residential property total (valued at $ 1.2 million)

It is important to note that the actual tax return for each property owner will differ from the above average amount and will depend on the appraised value of the property.

It will also depend on the change in the valuation value of the property in question in relation to the average change in the property class in question.

BC Valuation determines the valuation value of a property.

It is also important to note that these estimates only reflect the district tax and exclude utility taxes, provincial school taxes, and taxes levied by other tax authorities, including TransLink, Metro Vancouver, BC Assessment, and the municipal finance authority.

The total property tax for 2022 will be determined once a final budget is approved by the City Council.

Citizens who want to tell the city council what they should spend taxpayers on can sign up to speak at the December 1 meeting or send questions or comments to the city council via the city’s website.

This will be the last budget vote for this council because there will be elections in October 2022 and budget negotiations will take place every December.


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