Today City Council approved Vancouver’s 2016 Budget. This balanced budget will keep taxes and fees low while making investments in priority areas such as affordable housing, transportation, and infrastructure.
“The City of Vancouver plays a strong role in supporting our city’s economic leadership and enhancing the livability and quality of life for our residents,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Vancouver is keeping taxes low while investing in priorities like affordable housing, community services and better service delivery.”
Highlights in the 2016 Operating Budget include $11.6 million of investments in new and enhanced services:
- $2.8 million to enhance public realm cleanliness
- $2.1 million to reduce permit wait times
- $1.9 million to enhance public safety (new fire boats, fire trucks and VPD digital evidence software)
Vancouver, like other Canadian cities, offers a broad range of services within a limited range of revenue sources. The 2016 Budget presents a responsible plan which ensures funds are carefully managed and will support continued progress on key priorities including the Housing and Homelessness Strategy, Greenest City 2020 Action Plan, Transportation 2040 Plan, Healthy City Strategy, Vancouver Economic Action Strategy and Digital Strategy.
With a property tax increase of just 2.3%, Vancouver has the second lowest five-year average property tax increase in Metro Vancouver.
Metro Vancouver has also been ranked the second most tax competitive city in the world, while the City has reduced the business property tax share from 52% to 43% and improved the business tax ratio from 6.0 to 4.1 over the past 10 years, one of the most substantial improvements among major Metro Vancouver municipalities. The City has demonstrated a careful approach to its use of debt which is reflected in its consistently strong credit ratings and favourable borrowing rates, with the City receiving one of the strongest credit ratings for a Canadian city (AAA/AA+).
The Conference Board of Canada forecasts that Vancouver and its region will lead the nation in economic growth from 2016 to 2019. To build on this strength, the City intends to leverage increased federal and provincial funding for infrastructure and social investments, including Broadway transit, affordable housing, and childcare.
For details on the 2016 Budget see: vancouver.ca/budget