COPE City Councillors Woodsworth and Cadman are working to re-define what is truly a “fair tax.”
“Its time that residents and business owners pay taxes that accurately represent their ability to pay” said Councillor Woodsworth. She brought a motion to council on Class 8 property conversions that passed a couple of weeks ago. She was concerned that developers could convert a small portion of their land to “community gardens” and thus switch to non-profit status, saving, in some cases, hundreds of thousands of dollars. Staff will be reporting back on how many of these reclassifications have taken place, how much it may or may not cost in lost tax revenue, and what recourse the City has.
David Cadman also resumed his fight to create a new taxation class for small business. His motion, passed Thursday, stated that “small businesses in Vancouver are suffering from the economic downturn” and that they “deserve a share of the tax responsibility commensurate with the size of their businesses”. The motion is part of a larger investigation the City would like to see to determine how small business could be further supported.
Both councillors are concerned about the tax shift included in the 2009 budget, which moves taxes from business to residential property owners. “Residential home owners will be seeing a significant tax increase, well-above 2% inflation,” says Cadman. He continues “we need to remember that this tax shift doesn’t just hurt home owners – the costs inevitably get passed to renters who are already having a difficult time with the extremely low vacancy rate in our city.”
“The city receives eight cents on the tax dollar, yet serves 80% of the population” said Councillor Woodsworth. “It’s time to review municipal taxation to ensure reasonable revenue sources and fair fees for residents.”