The Commercial Drive Business Society supports the Vancouver Fair Tax Coalition (VFTC) as an initiative that will help maintain the viability and diversity of Vancouver businesses in general, and Vancouver small businesses in particular — the type of business typically found on Commercial Drive. We pride ourselves on our diversity of single-location, owner-operated businesses as an alternative to the North American trend towards big-box, franchised chains. We see the shift in tax base that VFTC is lobbying for as one critical component in sustaining the viability of a diversity of unique, small businesses.
in 1983 the property tax ratio for businesses compared to residents was 2.6 to 1. By 2005 this ratio had risen to 5.9 to 1. Through the efforts of the Fair Tax Coalition this ratio has decreased to 4.5 to 1 (i.e. Business owners in Vancouver pay municipal property taxes at 4.5 times the rate paid by residents). This is ~25% more than the average rate of surrounding municipalities in the lower mainland.
A 2006 study carried out by the City of Vancouver estimated residential properties pay $0.56 for every $1 of city services they consume. Businesses, in contrast, pay $2.42 for every $1 of city services they consume. More work needs to be done to bring it to a fair and equitable level.
On March 13, 2008, Vancouver City Council voted to shift property tax from commercial to residential properties by 1% per year for the next 5 years, which has provided some relief to Vancouver business owners, but as of 2012 that shift has stopped.
Here are some good reasons Vancouver businesses want to see that shift continue:
Watch the video to find out why this is so important for the vitality of our neighbourhoods — residential and commercial, or visit the website to learn more.