Vancouver councillors have ignored staff advice and voted to shift some of the city’s tax burden from businesses to homeowners.
Council voted Monday night to pass 2 per cent of the commercial tax load on to homeowners.
The shift will be phased in over three years, with the first bump of one per cent added to homeowner’s tax bills by July.
Increases of .5 per cent will be added to residential taxes in 2020 and 2021.
A staff report urged councillors not to impose the measure, saying the blanket 2 per cent shift would cut property taxes for all commercial properties, from tiny corner stores to large multi-national chains, regardless of need.
But Michelle Barile, with the West Broadway Business Improvement Association, told council that 75 stores had closed along that busy corridor since 2015, and many of those businesses blamed the soaring tax load.
“We should put up a sign that says, ‘Sorry, we’re dead’ because that’s what it looks like right now,” Barile told the council meeting.
City documents show commercial and non-residential properties pay a 45.3 per cent share of Vancouver taxes, while residential properties pay 54.7 per cent.
The Canadian Press