What is the Vancouver Fair Tax Coalition?
The Vancouver Fair Tax Coalition (VFTC) is a non-partisan coalition representing more than 43,000 local businesses. VFTC members are concerned about the high municipal property taxes they pay and the inequitable allocation of the tax burden between residential and commercial real estate.
What does the coalition want?
- Adopt a principle of fairness for the distribution of property taxes in the city of Vancouver.
- Create a long-term policy for the fair and equitable distribution of property taxes based upon the benefits received by each class.
- Any differential between revenue collected from a class of property and the costs of the benefits received by this class should be called the subsidy amount.
- We believe it is fair to pay greater than the level consumed to account for the ability of business properties to pay property taxes in pre-tax dollars.
What is the problem?
Business owners pay $2 for every $1 of city services they consume. Residents, in contrast, pay $0.69 for every $1 of services consumed. That means residential properties were being subsidized by commercial properties for the amount of city services residents consumed. This is unacceptable and unsustainable.
Is Vancouver different from other municipalities?
In the Lower Mainland, the average municipal property tax ratio between businesses and residents is 3.5:1. Currently, Vancouver’s ratio is 4.3:1, the highest in Canada.
What happens if the ratio is not changed?
Local businesses make important contributions to the city’s well being by providing jobs, supporting communities and building neighbourhoods. The current property tax rate makes it difficult for these businesses to operate. It restricts business owners’ ability to invest in their businesses and has put many of them in jeopardy.