Local merchants in the low-rent district of Vancouver are being priced out because of their property assessments.
Property Tax Consultant Paul Sullivan with Burgess Cawley & Associates told Stirling Faux on CKNW Weekend that numbers are increasing in the industrial areas.
“As much as one, two, three hundred per cent increases and the difficulty with this is that commercial tax rates are four and half times that, of residential tax rate, and the amount of property tax recovery being asked from these incubator businesses on two, three, four million dollar increases is going to require them to do millions of dollars in new revenue to cover their property tax.”
He says to keep up, smaller businesses are then required to make more revenue.
Sullivan says unless the system changes how retailers are taxed, merchants will continue to be pushed out.
“We’re on a committee with Councillor Meggs and Louis, the province of British Columbia, and we’re trying to rewrite the legislation on how we assess these people, but I fear it’s a little late because that’s not going to come about until 2018, 2019 at best.”
Sullivan says he’s been getting a lot of feedback from merchants that decided they can’t afford to stay in the city.
He says unless the system changes how retailers are taxed, the city will start to lose diversity and choices of where to shop.