The city of Vancouver has a policy of shifting the property tax burden from businesses (who pay the majority currently) to residences. Not every one is happy with that policy:
David Cadman and Ellen Woodsworth, both members of the Coalition of Progressive Electors, said they oppose a program by the city of annually transfering one per cent of the tax rate from commercial classes to residential classes.
That policy was brought in two years ago following the recommedations of the Property Tax Policy Review Commission, which said the city is best served by having property taxes made up 52 per cent by residents and 48 per cent by businesses. The review came after businesses complained they made up a disproportionate share of the tax base, up to 60 per cent.
This year city staff have recommended continuing the gradual one per cent shift from the business sector, which translates into a two per cent increase for homeowners. But as the city struggles to find ways to close the $20.6 million gap in the 2011 budget – equivalent to a 3.6 per cent increase across the board – both Woodsworth and Cadman say the business tax transfer should stop.
You can read the full article in the Vancouver Sun but the whole argument is silly. Faced with a $20.6 million budget shortfall there is one obvious course of action for the city to take: cut taxes and increase spending. Once the world finds out about Vancouver they’ll be here with buckets of money to solve any financial woe’s we find ourselves in.