VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — The final few speakers had their say on a proposed 9.3 per cent combined property tax and utility hike during a Vancouver city council special budget meeting Tuesday.
The increase would be in the hundreds of dollars for most homes next year, the largest property tax hike in the city in a decade.
That extra money would go to hiring additional police officers and firefighters, affordable housing policies, and “accelerating action on climate change.”
Bernie Burnett was one of about 40 speakers and a recently retired city employee of 35 years.
“So I have a problem. I have a house I can’t afford. I have a mortgage. I have a tenant who’s ill, I can’t raise her rent. I have elderly parents who need to be cared for. I have retired on a very small income. And I’m not blaming the city on my pension, but you have to be realistic,” she said.
“I probably should have bought in Burnaby. Unfortunately, I don’t have the money, so I would like to know what the options are. Defer and pass this down on to my kids? I could sell the house, but frankly, no one wants to buy a 1927 tear down.”
Janett Will said she moved here from Alberta about four years ago, purchasing a condo in Coal Harbour.
“In 2018 my taxes were up to $23,000 and in 2019 they were $45,000,” she explains. “In one year my taxes went up 97 per cent. That is just a shocking, shocking amount.”
Council is expected to vote on the 2020 budget by the end of the year.