NEWS

Vancouver property tax hike coming again next year

10/03/2013 09:58 EDT | Updated 12/03/2013 05:12 EST
The City of Vancouver is projecting another tax increase for homeowners next year, along with higher utilities and user fees too.               

The city just released its 2014 budget outlook, which shows a shortfall of at least $13 million dollars -- even with the planned increases.

The city is expecting a number of rising expenses next year, including paying more to unionized workers, with raises that exceed the rate of inflation.

Water and sewer costs are also going up. And the city will spend millions to start the bike share program and hold an election.

City Counc. Geoff Meggs says he expects property taxes may rise two percent, but the final figure could be higher or lower, depending on what cost-cutting measures staff can find.

"The city's always looking to become more efficient and we've saved tens of millions of dollars with various strategies over the last couple of years, and we'll be doing that again, and when we get that work done with staff we'll be able to say more clearly what kind of a tax increase may be necessary."         

NPA Counc. George Affleck says the Vision majority council has increased taxes too many times -- while inflation is close to zero.

"With the current inflation rate at about 0.3 per cent, we're looking at a significant increases in taxes for people in Vancouver."

The city plans public consultation on the budget this fall, with a vote on the tax increases in December.

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