Dan Fumano: Vancouver’s new mayor pitches 10.7% property tax hike in record-high budget
As a mayoral candidate last year, Vancouver businessman and accountant Ken Sim was a vocal critic of his predecessor for overseeing big year-over-year property tax increases.
Now, in his first year as mayor, Sim and his ABC Vancouver-majority city council have proposed pushing the budget to a new high, with a corresponding tax increase well above anything approved by the previous council, or their predecessors.
Last November, shortly after Sim and the new council were sworn in, city staff presented a draft $1.914 billion operating budget for 2023 with a five per cent property tax increase.
Since then, the ABC councillors have pursued the agenda they campaigned on last year en route to their sweep in last October’s election. City staff incorporated those new council priorities — including revitalizing Chinatown and hiring more police officers and mental-health nurses — which pushed the newest draft operating budget, released last week, to $1.96 billion and a 9.7 per cent property tax increase.
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