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2019 City budget funds key priorities

November 27 2018 –

Our proposed $1,516 million operating budget and $371 million budget for new capital projects ensures that important services can be maintained and improved, while at the same time proposes priority new investments to help meet the future needs of a growing and changing city.

The total capital expenditure budget for 2019 is $568 million, including new and ongoing projects.

The full draft 2019 Budget and Five-Year Financial Plan  (10 MB) is available now on our website, along with a nine-page summary  (546 KB), and will be presented in detail for City Council consideration at a special Council meeting on December 11.

Proposed property tax increase

The draft 2019 Budget includes a proposed property tax increase of 4.9%, driven primarily by the following factors:

  • 1.0% to fund additional investments in infrastructure renewal approved in the 2019-2022 Capital Plan
  • 1.7% to cover increased costs related to the provincial government’s new Employer Health Tax
  • 2.2% to cover inflationary and wage costs of existing services, and new investments to maintain and improve services

Household impact of the proposed tax increase

The proposed 4.9% property tax increase would amount to an extra:

  • $108 per year for the median single family home (assessed at $1.8 million)
  • $41 for the median strata unit (assessed at $0.7 million)
  • $193 for the median business property (assessed at $0.9 million).

The proposed combined utility fee increase of 8.7% is driven primarily by increases in utility program expenditures such as increased Metro Vancouver charges (including site preparation for sewer secondary treatment) and the costs to renew critical City utility infrastructure as approved in the 2019-2022 Capital Plan.

Over the past 10 years, Vancouver has had one of the lowest average annual property tax increases among Metro Vancouver municipalities, and the 2018 combined utility and property taxes for a median single-family home in Vancouver are below the average of other Metro Vancouver municipalities.

Priority investments based on public feedback

Public engagement on the 2019 Budget was completed in two phases:

  • Phase one involved a Civic Service Satisfaction Survey, conducted by telephone, to understand current levels of satisfaction with City services. This research helped guide the service planning and budgeting process for internal departments, and informed the priorities and investments in the proposed 2019 Budget. View survey results
  • Phase two included a range of digital and in-person activities to test priorities for spending, perceptions of financial management, and approaches to managing service delivery including tax levels and options to reduce taxes. The full engagement report is included in the draft budget document.

Learn more at a public briefing on December 3

You can learn more about and discuss the proposed budget with City staff before it is presented to City Council for consideration at a special Council meeting December 11.

Join us to a briefing on the proposed 2019 Budget:

  • Monday, December 3 from 5:30 to 7 pm
  • City Hall, Main Floor, Town Hall Room 110

The briefing will also be streamed live on our Facebook page.

Facebook Live   

Other ways to get involved

Council is then scheduled to vote on the 2019 Budget on December 18 at the regular Council meeting.

Property owners can find more about the City's land assessment averaging process

Financial managment and budget reporting practices recognized

Our financial management has been acknowledged by credit rating agencies-both Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s-with the highest rating of AAA/Aaa.

Our budget reporting practices were also recently recognized with an award by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA), and Vancouver received one of the top rankings among Canadian municipalities in the CD Howe institute’s 2018 municipal fiscal accountability report card.