See what Vancouver property tax increases are proposed for 2014

Vancouver city council is proposing increases in property taxes and utility fees for 2014 below the rate of inflation.

The proposed increases, 1.9 per cent for property taxes and one per cent for utilities such as water, sewer and garbage collection, come just before Mayor Gregor Robertson’s Vision Vancouver administration seeks re-election.

The proposal, which is expected to be ratified next Tuesday, would boost the city’s overall operating budget to nearly $1.2 billion, an increase of $29.6 million. Of that, more than $5 million would go toward new priorities, including more money for social inclusion, culture and recreation, Greenest City initiatives, safety and emergency planning and digital services. The rest involves inflation and program adjustments.

The details are contained in a massive 220-page operating and capital plan document the city unleashed on the public after some people, including opposition Coun. George Affleck, complained about the city not being transparent with its budget process.

The new increases, if approved, would see property taxes for a residential property worth $1 million go up by $36, and utility fees another $29.

Vision Vancouver Coun. Raymond Louie, the chair of the city’s finance and services committee, said the proposed increase is a bargain compared to proposed tax increases in other Metro Vancouver municipalities. Surrey will raise its property tax rates by 2.9 per cent in 2014.

Last year Vancouver was the city with the second-smallest tax increase in Metro, 1.36 per cent, behind West Vancouver.

Louie credited the Vancouver Services Review Program, which has identified $53 million in unnecessary programs and expenditures, for allowing the city to keep tax increases low.

Source: Jeff Lee, Vancouver Sun

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