It issued $2.83-billion worth of commercial and residential permits in 2014, which is a 28 per cent jump compared to 2013 and a 77 per cent increase over 2008.
"The low interest rates has absolutely been a factor in making development affordable for developers to build and for people to finance the redevelopment of their own properties," said Brian Jackson, the city's general manager of planning and development services.
Click here to see a zoomed version of the graph of the city's building permit values
According to the city's press release, here are some examples of building permits that generated high revenue:
- Kensington Garden by Westbank, including three 14-storey towers, a 5-storey building and a proposed grocery store, valued at $65 million.
- The Charleson by Onni, a 44-storey tower with 253 units with a child daycare facility, valued at $46 million.
- A new Student Services and Science Building at Langara College, valued at $46 million.
- A 195-unit rental building by Bosa BlueSky Properties on Main Street at East Georgia Street, valued at $27 million.
The city says the money generated from the permits goes toward running the city more efficiently and pays for council decisions.
But the Canadian Taxpayers' Federation is wondering whether that money could be put towards better public transportation. At present, mayors across Metro Vancouver are getting ready for a referendum on whether the provincial sales tax should be increased to fund transit.
"So when you talk about things like Translink taxes or wanting a subway to Arbutus, you should be looking in the mirror as a local government and seeing how you can help pay for those issues," said Jordan Bateman, spokesperson for the Canadian Taxpayers' Federation.