A homeowner in Vancouver can expect to see a slight increase in their property tax posts for the next few years.
Monday night, the city council voted to shift the two percent tax on property of business in residential areas over the next three years, in order to provide some relief for small town businesses.
In May, one percent will be transferred to the landlord, and then half a percent transfer tax over the next two years.
The movement was only narrowly approved, with a 6-5 vote to favor. Counselors Colin Hardwick, Jean Swanson, Christine Boyle and Melissa De Genova, as well as Mayor Stuart Kennedy, voted against.
city employees recommended against shifting in the report presented on Monday evening, after it was shown in December to explore how it can help small businesses.
"Blanket two percent tax shift entirely to effectively provide target [approximately] 21 per cent of the commercial real estate affected by the volatility of the evaluation, which follows from the development ", says the report, in particular.
"Instead, it reduces the property tax for all commercial about the & # 39 objects without regard to whether or not they need tax breaks," the report said.
"There is dishonesty here"
Charles Gauthier, executive director of the Downtown Business Improvement Association, said that the business community is a small Vancouver is struggling under high taxes on the property for a long time.
Tax shift, he says, with a & # 39 is a positive step in the right direction, which hear cases responsible for 45 percent of the property tax bill in Vancouver, but account for only seven percent of all properties.
"There is injustice and injustice that has been going on for decades in this city," said Gauthier.
He adds that the property in the amount of $ 1 million tax increase is expected to cost the homeowner an additional $ 24 for the first year.
Who really benefits?
Coun. Christine Boyle threw one out of five votes over tax changes, citing concerns from experts that it does not really achieve its intended goal of helping small businesses.
"We heard quite clearly … that what we need is a more focused approach and the whole shift of the tax gives a lot of benefits to businesses that do not need it," she said.
During the presentation by experts, she said she learned that a business like Walmart will save nearly $ 15,000 a year, while a small business, such as Heartbreaker salon where Boyle said she gets her hair cut, allow save about $ 200.
She says that the city should use its tools targeted manner in the interests of small businesses, as the implementation of a split assessment.
Now the company is taxed on the basis of the market value of the property, which means that about 3,000 commercial & # 39; objects are considered underdeveloped in Vancouver to pay taxes assessed on the overall development potential.
"The Council could determine acceptable performance for the" splitting of the evaluation, "to set a lower tax rate (compared to commercial) for capacity development, and also to limit the duration of such tax benefits," according to the report of personnel.
City staff expects to report on the effectiveness of the split time stamps until 2020 tax year.