Highrise apartment buildings

How we fund the budget

The services we provide are funded primarily by:

  • Property taxes
  • Development contributions
  • Partner contributions
  • User fees [including revenue from parking meters, licences (such as dog licences, business licences, etc.)]
  • Permits (such as for parking, and building, etc.)
  • Fees from City‑run recreation programs (such as swimming pools, ice rinks, and fitness centres)

Around three quarters of our budgeted operating revenues come from property taxes and utility fees collected from homeowners and businesses. The balance is derived from non‑utilities fees and other revenue streams.

Over the past 10 years, Vancouver has had one of the lowest average property tax increases in the region at 2.8%.

Capital projects funding

We fund capital investments with a balanced mix of funding sources (who pays) and payment methods (when to pay).

Funding sources include:

  • Property tax and user fees (such as water and sewer fees and parking revenue)
  • Development contributions (including Development Cost Levies, voluntary Community Amenity Contributions, and connection charges)
  • Partner contributions from provincial and federal governments
  • TransLink
  • Non‑profit agencies and foundations
  • Philanthropists (particularly in the areas of transportation, childcare, and affordable housing)

Payment methods include:

  • Pay‑in‑advance funding from capital reserves
  • Pay‑as‑you‑go funding from current revenues
  • User fees and other sources
  • Debt financing that is repaid over time

 We take a careful approach to our use of debt, which is reflected in our consistently strong credit ratings.


Tax and utility
Tax and utility Chart

Where your taxes go

Many of the charges on your property tax bill represent taxes levied by:

  • The Province of BC (provincial school tax)
  • The BC Assessment Authority
  • TransLink
  • Metro Vancouver
  • Municipal Finance Authority

These taxing authorities determine the amount they need, and we collect the funds on their behalf.

As well, approximately 60% of our sewer and water utility fees are determined by Metro Vancouver.

Tax or fee type  2019 increase 
Property tax  4.5% 
Utility fees (combined) 8.7% 





Solid waste

Median single-family home combined municipal property tax and utility fees  6.1% 

How the 2019 Budget will affect property taxes