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'Be realistic': Vancouver homeowners respond to 2020 draft budget

Last Updated Dec 4, 2019 at 5:33 am PDT

FILE -Vancouver city hall. (Marcella Bernardo, NEWS 1130 Photo)
Summary

The increase would be in the hundreds of dollars for most homes next year, the largest property tax hike in a decade

The extra money would go to hiring additional police officers and firefighters, and affordable housing policies

Council is expected to vote on the 2020 budget by the end of the year

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) —┬áThe 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.