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Vancouver approves 7 per cent property tax hike, 2020 budget

Last Updated Dec 17, 2019 at 9:32 pm PST

FILE - Vancouver City Hall. (Photo credit: Dustin Godfrey for NEWS 1130)
Summary

Vancouver councillors have approved a 7 per cent property tax hike, down from the 8.2 initially proposed

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Vancouver City Council has approved a 7 per cent property tax increase along with its 2020 budget.

After some back-and-forth on the tax, councillors settled on a number lower than the 8.2 per cent initially proposed.

It comes after a large outcry by homeowners and some council members. The number is still more than twice as much as the average increase in the City of Vancouver.

Coun. Melissa de Genova says she would have liked to see the tax come down a bit more.

“I would not have not been able to tolerate very much over 4.5 per cent, but in the spirit of trying to come together with council, had we had 5 per cent in front of us, some of my voting may have been different,” she says.

“That being said, we have 7 per cent, that’s very concerning to me, as Vancouver continually ranks as one of the least affordable cities.”

De Genova adds that she’s concerned an increase to property taxes will cause landlords to boost rents to try to cover the cost, causing more strain on renters.

“I’ve heard from folks that are really scared that they will be evicted, that they will be pushed out of their homes so that landlords will be able to increase to meet their property tax rates. We’ve heard from people who would need to do that to be able to afford their homes,” she says.

Meantime, Vancouver Police Chief Adam Palmer is praising the police budget, saying it allows the force to hire 25 new officers and 10 new civilian employees in 2020.