Preliminary 2008 Tax Target Set at 2.99%

Councillors Scale Back Staff Recommendation for 6% Tax Increase

Resolving municipal/provincial fiscal imbalance could allow city to reduce property taxes this year

Mayor Sullivan and Councillor Peter Ladner today welcomed a decision by City Council to scale back a city staff proposal for a 6% property tax increase in 2008. Instead, City Council unanimously supported a motion from Councillor Ladner to establish a preliminary 2008 tax target of 2.99%.

Mayor Sullivan also renewed Metro Vancouver and City Council’s call for the provincial government to address the current municipal/provincial fiscal imbalance.

“While a 2.99% property tax increase is still too high, it is better than the 6% that was proposed,” said Mayor Sullivan. “It is my hope that the provincial government will respond to our pre-budget submission and return some their multi-billion dollar surplus to municipal governments across the province so we can offset downloading of services and potentially reduce property tax rates this year.”
The preliminary tax target does not include new Vancouver Police Department (VPD) initiatives, “pass-along costs” from outside agencies like Metro Vancouver, strike savings or a possible shift from businesses to residential taxpayers.

“I want to thank City Council for supporting this motion,” said Councillor Ladner. “We look forward to hearing from residents on a variety of issues as we prepare the budget – including the VPD’s request for new positions which is by far the largest proposed initiative. I am very proud of the work city staff is doing to ensure the upcoming public consultation process is inclusive and comprehensive.”

The City of Vancouver will engage residents, businesses and community organizations in the coming weeks to receive their input on the municipal budget. Additional announcements are forthcoming.