Vancouver city council have vote to hike property taxes by 2.26 per cent ((CBC))

Vancouver residents will be getting a 2.26 per cent property tax hike next year, after councillors passed the 2010 operating budget on Friday morning.

The councillors approved the tax increase as part of a plan to make up a budget shortfall of $61 million in the coming fiscal year.

Earlier this year city managers announced plans to eliminate 60 full-time jobs and reduce services to cut about $33 million from the budget. That left council with the task of eliminating the remaining $28-million shortfall from the $1-billion annual budget.

Councillors have blamed the budget shortfall on declining revenue from building permits and taxes, brought on by the economic recession.

Among the more controversial cuts are plans to close the Bloedel Conservatory and the Stanley Park Children’s Farmyard.

Councillors also voted to cut salary increases by some city staffers and use the savings to keep the Riley Park Library open, to maintain operational hours at some other libraries, and to allocate $500,000 to emergency shelters for the homeless.