To those who may be confused about the references to the 1/3 tax free allowance referenced in last night’s Council discussion. The discussion addressed the recent vote at Metro Vancouver’s board concerning ‘retroactive retirement allowances’ etc.
We posted the following information in a 2015 posting which addressed the salaries and expenses of elected members. (https://nvcityvoices.wordpress.com/2015/06/20/are-they-worth-it-council-pay-and-expenses/)
‘Expenses per Bylaw: The City pays an annual indemnity to Mayor and Council, according to the terms and amounts as outlined in the “ Council Indemnity Bylaw”, of which one-third (1/3) is paid as an allowance for expenses. 2.2. This one-third (1/3) allowance, is for incidental expenses incurred in the discharge of duty within the geographic area of the City of North Vancouver. Examples of incidental expenses include personal vehicle costs, mileage, parking, clothing, home office equipment and supplies, and entertainment costs, except as specified elsewhere in this policy. 2.3.
The two-thirds (2/3) balance of the annual indemnity covers the time required for discharge of duties and any lost business opportunity costs.’
Comment from Voices: This bylaw may have been updated but we have to wonder why so many expenses have been charged back to the City by some elected officials that should have been covered by this Bylaw. We understand that tax provisions have changed with the 2017 federal budget and effective January 1 2019 there will no longer be allowances.
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.