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2018 City budget focused on priority investments to address key issues

November 22 2017 3.9% tax increase will maintain, improve core services

Mother and daughter engaging with City staff using Lego

The City of Vancouver's proposed $1.405 billion operating budget and $426.4 million capital budget for 2018 ensures that important services can be maintained, while at the same time focuses on priority investments to help meet the future needs of a growing and changing city.

The proposed 2018 budget includes a property tax increase of 3.9 per cent. The majority of the increase - 3.3 per cent - is driven by costs to maintain City services and service levels (i.e. fixed costs such as wages, energy, rent, maintenance and other third-party costs). In addition, there are new investments needed both to make progress on the core issues in our city and to ensure the services most valued by residents and businesses are improved.

These additional costs have been partially offset by internal cost savings (without service impacts), new fees and increased revenue from some existing fees.

Household impact

Over the past five years, Vancouver has had one of the lowest average property tax increases among Metro Vancouver municipalities at 2.3 per cent.

The proposed 3.9 per cent property tax increase amounts to an extra $87 per year per median single family home (assessed at $1.823 million), and $29 per median strata unit (assessed at $609,000).

Priority investments based on public feedback The City consulted with residents and businesses by presenting and inviting feedback on the 2018 Budget Outlook and heard back about their most important issues and preferences for City spending. That input was used to identify priorities for investment in the 2018 budget year and beyond.

Some examples of investments aligned to the priorities for the City's 2018 budget are:

  • Planning for growth and to address housing affordability in Vancouver neighbourhoods
  • Enabling the opening of 600 new units of temporary modular housing for our most vulnerable and low-income residents
  • Funding for affordable housing, including land acquisition for social housing in the Downtown Eastside, and redevelopment of Rodden Lodge and the Evelyne Saller Centre
  • Additional staffing to reduce wait times for development permits, including faster approvals for affordable housing
  • A new Indigenous Healing and Wellness Centre in the Downtown Eastside
  • Additional funding to respond to the opioid crisis

Improve service and maintain and upgrade streets, utilities and facilities

  • Engineering utilities and transportation investments including for water, sewer and solid waste, and major and local road improvements
  • Improvements for snow response readiness
  • Improved safety and security at City facilities and in parks

Continue to build vibrant communities

  • Improvements to the Stanley Park seawall and waterfront
  • Expansion of the central library
  • Increased arts and culture grants including grants to support the Creative City Strategy
  • Increased funding for childcare
  • A new seniors centre and community centre renewals

Increase investments in public safety

  • Additional police officers and civilian staff to help address increasing service calls
  • Firehall construction and renovations
  • Maintenance of modernized firefighting equipment

Majority of residents satisfied with services

In the annual online Budget and Services Satisfaction Survey, 59 per cent of Vancouver residents said they were satisfied overall with City services. Business owners reported slightly lower satisfaction at 45 per cent. The City received the strongest satisfaction ratings for its provision of basic services (sewer, water, drainage), fire prevention and responding to medical calls, and providing access to library resources.

The top two issues for both residents and business owners/operators who completed the survey were cost of living and housing/accommodations. Residents ranked addictions and overdoses as their third most important issue, while businesses ranked infrastructure/transportation third.

Areas identified as needing the most improvement included affordable housing, planning for development, permits and enforcement, maintaining and enhancing transportation infrastructure and streets, and public safety.

Fiscally, the City of Vancouver's strong financial management has been acknowledged by credit rating agencies - both Moody's and Standard & Poor's - with the highest credit rating of AAA.

Learn more at a Budget Dialogue session on December 1

Residents are invited to a Public Dialogue session on the proposed City budget on Friday, December 1 from 4:30-7:30 pm at City Hall, Main Floor, Town Hall Room 110.

This will be your chance to review and discuss the budget with City staff before it goes to City Council for presentation at a special Council meeting December 6.

Council will then vote on the 2018 budget on December 12 at the regular Council meeting.

To register to speak at the special council meeting on December 6, follow the directions on our web site.

Register to speak

Residents can also submit questions or comments to Mayor and Council via the City web site.

Submit questions or comments

Property owners can also find more about the City's land assessment averaging process on the City website.

Find out more