#Vancouver Budget 2021

City releases Draft 2021 Budget ahead of December 1 special Council meeting

November 24 2020 –

We have published our Draft 2021 Budget and Five-Year Financial Plan, to be considered by City Council at a special Council meeting on December 1.

We have taken a conservative and flexible approach to preparing the Draft 2021 Budget. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on our finances in 2020 including:

  • A projected $85 million in reduced revenue
  • $13 million in additional costs for the emergency response to support the community
  • Increased costs for regular operations during the pandemic such as personal protective equipment for frontline workers

The Draft 2021 Operating Budget for Council consideration is $1.6 billion, which is $17 million or 1% less than the original, planned budget for 2020. 

Property tax

In recognition of the financial challenges faced by local residents and businesses due to the pandemic, City Council directed staff to prepare a 2021 Budget with options for a property tax increase of no more than 5%.

A 5% increase assumes regular operations including additional operating costs due to the pandemic, addresses critical risks and service gaps, and covers our annual inflationary fixed cost increases. As this budget is lower than the 2020 budget, some planned initiatives will need to be deferred and service levels for the public will be also impacted.

If approved by Council, a 5% increase would amount to the following average property tax increase amounts for 2021 (based on median property values in each category) after adjusting for the impact of the Council-directed tax shift of .5% property tax share from non-residential to residential classes:

  • $146 for a single-family home (assessed at $1.6 million)
  • $64 for a condo or strata unit (assessed at $688,000)
  • $166 for a business property (assessed at $1 million)
  • $104 for a residential property overall (assessed at $1.1 million)

The actual tax bill for each property owner will be different than the above average amounts, and will depend on the assessed value of the property, as well as the relative assessed value of that property to others in the same area. Assessed value is determined by BC Assessment. The final property taxes and fees for 2021 will be set once a final budget is approved by Council following their December 8 meeting.

Learn more about the draft budget

Review the Draft 2021 Budget materials, including the public engagement report.

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