A collection of cities across Metro Vancouver are taking issue with what they claim is an “inequitable” property taxation policy.
The Metro Vancouver Regional District has released a new report that claims homeowners in the region are treated unfairly in comparison to the rest of B.C.
They say residents pay much more in property taxes than others in the province and lose out on social assistance due to higher property values.
Port Coquitlam mayor and Chair of the Metro Vancouver Regional District Greg Moore says this results in many residents falling through the cracks.
“People that have lived in their house for the last 30, 40, 50 years, they might be a senior on a fixed income but just because their house is worth more than $1.6-million they now lose the Home Owner Grant, and even the seniors benefit beyond that.”
The report states that in school property tax alone, Metro Vancouver pays three times more than the rest of B.C.
And while that tax money should go toward improving affordability in those cities, Moore says they aren’t seeing benefits in proportion to the cost.
“We have an affordable housing issue here, we think more money could be put into affordable housing. We also know that if you put money into infrastructure like transit or transportation that you can reduce the cost of living here.”
They’re suggesting changes to the tax policy to more accurately reflect the residents of Metro Vancouver.
Those changes involve adjusting how Home Owner Grants are distributed, from blanket distribution to a region-by-region approach, as well as changes to how school and property transfer taxes are implemented.
With files from Tristan Martin-Woodhouse