Vancouver businesses being squeezed by the city’s high real estate prices are getting some relief from City Hall.
On Monday, council voted to shift 2 per cent of the tax burden from businesses to homeowners.
This comes after City staff recommended against the shift, warning it will add a burden to homeowners, and would benefit large corporations that don’t need the help, along with small businesses.
Homeowners have also not had the chance to weigh in on the shift.
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However, councillors like Sarah Kirby-Yung say local small businesses need to be kept alive.
“I think that they needed immediate relief,” she said. “We have businesses that are closing down, that are moving out of our neighbourhoods and what we want to see is complete communities across the city.”
The change will be phased in over three years, starting with a 1 per cent shift in May.
Council asked staff to explore the idea and its consequences back in December, as skyrocketing property values left some small business owners facing tax bills that doubled in just a couple of years.