Lies, Damned Lies And …Municipal Tax Comparisons

Lies, Damned Lies And …Municipal Tax Comparisons.

from Guy Heywood’s blog: “Thoughts of a ‘retiring’ Councillor” and quoting in part:  


Property taxes in Metro Vancouver, however, are most certainly not progressive. They are quite regressive.  Homeowners in poorer communities like Port Coquitlam and New Westminster have to pay a much higher percentage of their home value in tax to support their local government than homeowners in West or North Vancouver Districts, or in Vancouver itself. 

Property tax is particularly challenging because it is a tax on the value of one’s major asset regardless of income.  Does it seem fair to you that in West Vancouver, the wealthiest community in the country, they also pay the lowest rate of tax on their much more valuable homes.

It is disingenuous that the North Vancouver City Government continues to present this specious and self serving comparison in the information that it sends out to all of use every year. 

The City’s municipal tax rate is now in the middle of the pack. But where is it likely to go from here?  There are several reasons to believe that it will start trending higher than the District tax rate, after being virtually the same for many years, for a number of reasons.

One reason is one given in the City’s Tax Information Sheet. It talks about the average value of single detached homes going up by 1.14% year over year, while the value of strata residences going down by almost 2% in the same year. 

Strata homes make up 85%of the housing stock of the City.  If this trend continues, NorthVan City will have to raise its tax rate faster than the District just to raise the same amount of revenue.  Many people believe that there is more downside to strata property values than there are for single family home values. 

One way to avoid that squeeze is to increase the number of new units by more than the decrease in their value every year.  But that in turn could create the risk of being dependent on continuing to grow to fund normal budget increases while at the same time creating longer term pressure on infrastructure from the rapid population growth. 


One response to “Lies, Damned Lies And …Municipal Tax Comparisons

  1. Or how about capping or cutting spending?

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