City of Vancouver releases Draft 2022 Budget ahead of Special Council meeting

THE City of Vancouver’s Draft 2022 Budget and Five-Year Financial Plan are now available to view, and will be considered by City Council at their Special Council meeting on December 1, the City announced on Tuesday.

Staff have taken a cautious approach to building the Draft 2022 Budget in recognition of the financial difficulties that Vancouver residents and businesses continue to face due to the pandemic, and the constraints the pandemic has placed on City funds. The budget options presented also follow City Council’s direction to provide options for a property tax increase of no more than five percent.

The Draft 2022 Operating Budget for consideration by Council is $1.7 billion. To keep the property tax increase for next year at or below five per cent, staff have identified opportunities to reduce 2022 forecasted expenses by $45 million.

These cost-saving measures include identifying work that could be deferred, holding staffing vacancies, and finding new cost efficiencies. Without these cost mitigations, a much higher tax increase would have been required in order to balance the budget. There will also be limited funds available in 2022 for new programs or improvements.

The City’s finances continue to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and, while operating revenues improved over the course of the 2021 Budget, there remains risk to revenues in 2022. There are also additional costs related to our pandemic response.

Staff are also proposing adjustments to the Draft 2022 Capital Budget, which would reduce spending in the 2019-2022 Capital Plan by approximately $43 million. This scenario still allows the City to focus on maintaining and renewing assets and infrastructure, as these investments are essential to avoid higher costs in the future.

View the Budget Highlights for an overview of the Draft 2022 Budget; the detailed budget document and departmental service plans are also available on the City’s web site. Learn about input the City received from the public on 2022 spending in its Public Engagement Report.


Projected average annual increases

If Council approves a five per cent property tax increase, the average annual increases for 2022, based on median property values in each category, would be as follows:

  • $137 for a single-family home (assessed at $1.7 million)
  • $57 for a condo or strata unit (assessed at $711,000)
  • $247 for a business property (assessed at $1 million)
  • $95 for a residential property overall (assessed at $1.2 million)

The actual tax notice for each property owner will differ from the above average amounts, and will depend on the assessed value of the property, as well as the change in assessed value of that property relative to the average change in that property class. A property’s assessed value is determined by BC Assessment.

These estimates reflect the City portion of taxes only. The amount due on a property owner’s tax notice will also include utility fees, provincial school taxes, and taxes levied by other taxing authorities including Translink, Metro Vancouver, BC Assessment, and the Municipal Finance Authority.

The total property tax levy for 2022 will be set once a final budget is approved by Council.


How to provide feedback

The following options are available to residents and businesses who wish to provide feedback to Council on the Draft 2022 Budget: