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Are high property taxes weighing your business down?

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For over 10 years, we have warned municipal and provincial governments that you are paying an unfair amount of property taxes. In 2019 alone, many businesses saw double digit increases in their bill compared to last year. 

Now that the problem has come to a boiling point, governments are slowly starting to listen. 

Will the Provincial government move forward on a bill that could lower your property tax bill? 

The City of Vancouver and business communities (including CFIB) have endorsed a proposal that could bring down your property tax bill. The proposal would allow municipalities to target specific areas (e.g. Main Street) hardest hit by rising property bills, and split the assessment into two parts: what is physically there on the property, and its future value (known as highest and best use). Municipalities would be able to set a lower tax rate on the “future value” than what it’s currently taxed at, bringing down the property tax bill. This tool would be available to all municipalities if the Provincial government decides to implement it.   

In order for that to happen, we need the Provincial government to take action now. We have continued to urge the government to act quickly on this important issue.

Some progress

In May, the City of Vancouver approved a modest reduction in the property tax share paid by business owners, approving a 2 per cent shift off of commercial properties over the next three years, and also acknowledge there is still much more to do. While this is a step in the right direction, there is a lot more that needs to be done, which is why we are continuing the fight.

2020 - Metro Vancouver has a Property Tax Problem

The following piece explores a series of stories from business owners in Metro Vancouver who are the same problem: rising property taxes crippling their business. Click here to read

Are you interested in sharing your property tax story? Contact us to see how your story can help pressure government to take action!

2018 - Property Tax Fairness For BC Small Business

This report focuses on two metrics: (1) the share of the total property taxes business owners pay; and (2) how much commercial assessments make up of total assessment. Using these numbers, we term the differential as the “Property Tax Fairness Ratio”. In a fair system, the disparity should be minimal: you pay property taxes based on what the value of the property you own (or lease). In BC, this is not the case. Most municipalities place an unequal tax burden on business owners compared to the value of their properties. On average, commercial businesses in the largest twenty municipalities in BC pay 29.3 per cent of the total property tax bill, even though they make up just 12.2 per cent of the total assessed property value – or a 2.39 ratio. Find out how your city stacks up!
 

Add your voice to our call to action!

If you have any stories about property taxes weighing down your business, please send them to [email protected] . We will continue to stand up against unfair policies by meeting with local politicians, conducting reports, and speaking out loudly to defend your business’ interests.