Property tax increase for 2021 takes British Columbians by the storm

Property tax increase for 2021 takes British Columbians by the storm

  • Business
  • Economy
  • Finance
  • Real Estate
November 25, 2020

Both the City of Vancouver and Surrey recently proposed their budgets for 2021. What caught our eyes were the property tax hike for the upcoming year. This year was a difficult year for everyone due to COVID. When the situation is not under control, amid a second lockdown, at a time when we still need assistance, the government proposed a higher percentage tax hike when the property prices are falling substantially.

The City of Surrey proposed a 2.9% increase in property taxes and an additional $200 increase in Capital Parcel Tax on every residential property. The property tax aligns to what was planned last year and the Capital Parcel Tax tripled because the existing rate is $100. It will generate an additional $20.5 million dollars for the city’s operational fund. It was part of City of Surrey’s five-year capital plan. Major spending next year will be focused on new recreational infrastructure: Newton Community centre, City Centre Sports Complex, and Bear Creek Park Athletics Centre.

The City of Vancouver on the other hand proposes a 5% increase in property taxes accounting for the tax shift of 0.5% property tax share from non-residential to residential. The property tax portion will generation an additional 51.57 million dollars. It balances out the lost in revenue from other sources.

The debate resolves around rather it is appropriate to increase property tax at this given time. We understand the government has its budget and plans for growth and development. It needs to balance the budget accordingly. The amount of subsidy given out to date must come out of somewhere. When the number of Covid cases are growing rapidly and more deaths being reported everyday, increasing property taxes might not be a good idea. The proposal was based on assumptions that the COVID situation will come to an end in 2021 which nobody can guarantee when and how.

Property taxes were usually related to land and building assessment. The more valuable the land and building, the higher the tax is at a given rate. Real Estate prices are down substantially this year for various reasons. The increase in property tax might not generate the additional revenue as expected unless the City do not adjust property assessment number accordingly. This appears to be another transferring of wealth from the rich to the poor. Are all people who own a residential property achieved financial freedom? No, of course not.

If the money generated from the additional tax revenue are spent toward recreational infrastructure, the construction should be delayed for number of reasons. Completion of these large gathering buildings cannot be used unless COVID is over, question will rise regarding governmental spending, causing more harm to residents to meet unnecessary needs amid a crisis.

Tax should be collected and spent appropriately according to the existing situation. How to collect tax and where to collect from is another problem the Cities in British Columbia must think carefully.

Yoyoe Lu

Founder and managing principal

Yoyoe is the founder and managing principal of Claridge. She was ranked one of Vancouver’s top real estate agents. Currently, Yoyoe is our strategic mind leading the team to success. Her affiliation with industry professionals put her ahead of our competitors. Yoyoe is also part of the Rotary Club of West Vancouver, Canadian Homebuilders Association, Urban Land Institute and Urban Development Institute.

Ashley Osborn

Development Site and Investment Specialist

Ashely is our lead land and investment advisor. He has been consistently featured in the annual top 100 real estate deals of British Columbia ranking. With over $15 billion worth of domestic and international real estate investments under his belt, Ashley is one of the top agents in the province. His 20 years of real estate and financial experience make him a master in negotiation and acquisition.

Patricia Wong Chong

Investment and Leasing Specialist

Patricia is our investment and retail leasing advisor. Her experience in brokerage and market research analysis has helped her comprise over $550 million in commercial real estate transactions. Patricia is responsible, detail-oriented, and professional. Her strong work ethic and positive attitude have led her to surpass all her competitors.

Schumann Li

Land Assembly & Residential Specialist

Schumann is a top-producing realtor in the Lower Mainland with more than 30 years’ experience. Over the years, Schumann hasn’t just garnered awards, but the trust of countless customers. Her clients continually refer to her outstanding professionalism, work ethic and poise.

Wendy Kaip

Sales Associate

Whether it’s decoding city policies, strategizing relocation plans, home sellers looking for a trustworthy advisor to unlock their property’s maximum potential- Wendy is here to help every step along the way.

Prior to real estate, Wendy spent over a decade in the mining industry with her attention to detail, keen negotiation skills, extensive network and strong reputation for getting the deal done, bringing endless value to her current real estate clients.

Whether you are thinking about selling to a developer, or have more questions about commercial real estate, Wendy invites you to connect, to see how she can utilize her expertise and team to help create value and maximize your real estate goals.

Simon Chan

Managing Broker

Simon is the managing broker of Claridge Real Estate Advisors Inc. His expertise has helped our agents resolve many difficulties. Not only is Simon knowledgeable with real estate legislation, but he is also very detail orientated. With Simon on our team, our agents are confident to conduct businesses and will always get the support they need to ensure they’re not walking on dirty water.

Frank Zhou


As the analyst of the company, my key job is to help brokers to find marketable clients and locate feasible development sites by collecting and analyzing up-to-date market transaction data and conducting target market and property-level research. Meanwhile, I am also in charge of maintaining the company’s property database to ensure accuracy and comprehensiveness and continuously upgrading the level of knowledge by staying up to date with hot topics, and market trends, and incorporating findings into everyday work. Before joining the company, I worked for CR Group as a real estate investment manager, focusing on capital raising, equity and debt financing, acquisition and renovation. I hold 2 master’s degrees, one in Housing Management and the other in Economics.