Metro Vancouver approves 3.5% property tax increase next year

Metro Vancouver passed a budget for 2022 that will make the average household pay $ 21 extra for the regional portion of their property tax bill – but with much higher increases expected in the coming years.

“Metro Vancouver residents are unlikely to tolerate significant tax increases,” said Metro Vancouver Vice President Linda Buchanan.

“We have simply moved these costs into the coming years.”

The budget will see the average bill for water, waste and other services provided by the regional government go from $ 574 in 2021 to $ 595 next year, as part of an operating budget of $ 1.107 billion.

The increase was $ 17 less than originally expected, but with major upgrades to wastewater treatment plants underway, the annual figure is expected to rise to $ 952 in 2026.

“I think the staff made some progress in supporting our fiscal position … but this progress needs to continue,” Buchanan said.

Metro Vancouver is overseen by mayors and councilors from across the region, and while many of them expressed concerns about the looming increases, the budget ended up adopting unanimously with promises of finding ways to lower the flag in the coming years.

“Metro is us, we are Metro,” said West Vancouver Mayor Mary-Ann Booth.

“Well, if that’s the case, we need to work together to solve some of these problems.”

The proposal for an industrial park is advancing

A large part of Metro Vancouver’s monthly board meeting was taken up by discussion of a request from Surrey to change the region’s urban boundary, intended to preserve agricultural and undeveloped areas.

“For me, it comes down to a choice between employment and industrial areas and the protection of natural areas,” said Bowen Island Councilor David Hocking.

For many years, Surrey has expressed a desire to redevelop land next to Campbell Heights industrial park on the Surrey-Langley border to provide more job opportunities in the area.

But the country falls outside the city limits, requiring a change approved by Metro Vancouver before any redevelopment.

Areas in the Campbell Heights land use plan that would change if they got Metro Vancouver approval. (Courtesy of Metro Vancouver)

“I’m really concerned about the environment … but I have full confidence in the Surrey staff and the Surrey Council that they are doing due diligence in their commitment,” said Langley Township Mayor Jack Froese.

A number of environmental groups and Semiahmoo First Nation chief Harley Chappell spoke at the meeting in opposition to the plan, but in the end, Metro Vancouver voted in favor of the change, demanding more comments from local First Nations before a final vote and decision.

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