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Metro Vancouver businesses speak out on rising property costs

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January 13 2019, Vancouver, BC – Following the announcement of several municipal budgets calling for higher property taxes in 2020, such as the City of Vancouver’s seven per cent increase, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) once again releases a series of stories from local business owners to create transparency on the significant impact these taxes have. 

The outrageous property taxes on local entrepreneurs was a key theme throughout 2019, and as a result CFIB met with business owners across Metro Vancouver to hear how the increases are impacting them. A hairdresser, a custom furniture vendor, and a fitness instructor represent some of the many local entrepreneurs with brix and mortar stores who have seen their property tax bills grow exponentially.

To read all their stories, including a background of the issue and CFIB’s recommendations, click here

“The combination of rapid development leading to higher property valuation and annual municipal tax increases from has created a serious problem for small businesses across Metro Vancouver,” said Muriel Protzer, Policy Analyst. “Businesses are being hit with massive property tax bills, and those leasing are also seeing their rent go up. The cumulative impact is simply becoming unaffordable for local entrepreneurs.”

The average small business owner in Metro Vancouver saw their property assessment increase 87 per cent between 2015 and 2019. Because property taxes are paid based on a property’s assessed value, this problem will continue to push local business out of our favourite streets if action is not taken. 

CFIB is calling on the province of BC to take action. It is recommended the province pass legislation which would allow municipal government to apply a lower, separate tax rate for small businesses hardest hit by large increases to property value derived from speculative development potential. Action is also needed from municipalities to better factor in local economic conditions and the taxpayers’ ability to pay when setting annual property tax increases. For a full list of recommendations, see page 12 of the backgrounder.

For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:
Muriel Protzer, Policy Analyst, CFIB
604-684-5325
[email protected]

About CFIB
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 110,000 members across every industry and region. CFIB is dedicated to increasing business owners’ chances of success by driving policy change at all levels of government, providing expert advice and tools, and negotiating exclusive savings. Learn more at cfib.ca.