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#SkyHighTaxes: Business owners speak out about property tax crisis

CFIB releases series of stories highlighting how local Metro Vancouver businesses are being damaged by soaring property tax and lease costs

Vancouver, July 3rd, 2019 –The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is marking today’s property tax payment deadline in Vancouver by releasing a new series of profiles of real business owners and their property tax struggles.

The stories show how skyrocketing overhead – both taxes and lease costs – are forcing business owners in Metro Vancouver to make agonizing choices, such as leaving long-held neighborhood locations, forgoing hiring, working longer hours, or even closing up shop.

Five stories from local business owners across the region are highlighted. The profiles are available for viewing at or by clicking on each link below:

  • Manifesto Salon: Overhead taking an increasing cut from local hair salon. For just 750 square feet, Sally pays $3,600 a month in rent. Add on $800 in property taxes – up over two-fold since 2010 – and Sally has had to find innovate ways to make her business survive.
  • Pacific Controls: Not pleasant being forced out of Mount Pleasant after 60 years! After property taxes skyrocketed to $80,000+ a year, Mark is being forced to move out of Mount Pleasant.
  • CrossFit Empower: High lease and taxes making gym owner sweat. Corey helps people reach their fitness goals, but it’s becoming increasingly difficult in the face of skyrocketing overhead. To get by, he works many 16-hour days.
  • Omega Nutrition: Healthfood provider getting hit by unhealthy overhead. With taxes doubling to over $50,000 since 2013 and rent set to skyrocket, this 30 year business is faced with tough choices like potentially moving out of Vancouver
  • Raimac Industries: Feeling the heat – even after moving. After 100 years in Vancouver, the business moved to the Township of Langley to avoid skyrocketing overhead. Unfortunately, even there property taxes continue jump. Their tax bill? $4,400 a month.

“Simply put, something has to give. Every one of these business owners we’ve spoken to say the same thing – the overhead crisis hitting Metro Vancouver’s small business community is not sustainable,” said Aaron Aerts, Western Economist.

“Our provincial and local governments need a wake up call.  They must take decisive action before more of our local community businesses are pushed out. We’ve already seen far too many empty-store fronts due to sky-high property taxes.” adds Aerts.

CFIB is calling on local governments and the BC government to take immediate action by taking two steps:

• Reform the assessment system so that business owners aren’t paying sky-high tax rates on air (i.e. adopt split classification assessment). Read more here:
• Take some of the tax burden off the small business community, as the City of Vancouver began to do in April of this year. Read more here:

For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:
Aaron Aerts, Western Economist
[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

July 3, 2019

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