Metro Vancouver says property tax system antiquated
Regional mayors are asking for tax changes in upcoming election
The regional government of Metro Vancouver is calling on B.C.'s political parties to make substantial changes to the way homeowners are taxed.
The group commissioned an independent report to look at the region's property taxation compared to the rest of the province.
"Metro Vancouver residents are facing an inequitable tax burden because of an antiquated taxation system based on assessed property values," said Metro Vancouver Board Chair and Port Coquitlam Mayor Greg Moore.
The mayors want to see changes to the homeowner grant, school property taxes and the property transfer tax.
The study, by Cascadia Strategy Consulting Partners, shows that 12,600 homeowners were ineligible for the province's home owner grant because of rising property values.
Metro Vancouver wants to see the homeowner grant threshold match the provincial average for eligibility — making 91 percent of properties eligible.
"It's patently unfair for more than half of B.C.'s population to be financially penalized when many residents are struggling to afford to remain in their homes." said Moore.
The consultant's report also shows that Metro Vancouver residents pay three times more in school property tax than the rest of the province.
- Climbing property assessments trigger warning letters to 90,000 B.C. homeowners
- Homeowner grant is good politics but may be bad policy
- North Vancouver homeowners fight 361% increase in property assessment — and lose
Jordan Bateman, the B.C. Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, disagreed with the premise of the report.
"This is a way for the city mayors to deflect from their own abysmal record on taxation," he said.
"They're so desperately hungry for more money and it's because they've been misspending what they've been collecting so far."
Metro Vancouver is hoping candidates in the May 9 election commit to their proposal.