13 December 2017 0 Comments Posted By : Mike Howell

Vancouver council approves 4.24 per cent property tax hike

The ruling Vision Vancouver council approved a last-minute property tax increase of .34 per cent Tuesday -- which equates to an overall 4.24 per cent hike -- that left the four Non Partisan Association councillors admittedly blindsided.

City staff’s proposed recommendation was for a 3.9 per cent property tax hike until Vision Coun. Raymond Louie successfully recommended halfway through the meeting that an additional .34 per cent increase be added to the overall hike.

“Today, I’m asking you to take action,” said Louie in challenging the NPA councillors, who attempted unsuccessfully at least three times to defer council’s decision on the budget and have staff look for ways to roll the additional tax hike into the $1.4-billion operating budget.

After four hours of debate, council voted 7-4 in favour of the operating budget and approved a $426-million capital budget. The NPA argued that Louie’s additional tax should have gone before the public before a council vote.

The back-and-forth between Louie and NPA Coun. George Affleck led to a fiery exchange between the two councillors during the lunch break. The Courier captured the political jousting on video, with Affleck accusing Louie of not being fair to taxpayers.

Louie responded: “So George, you don’t care about housing? You don’t care about the discrimination against the Chinese people?”

Affleck abruptly left the council chambers and did not answer Louie.

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