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July 19, 2019

A Proposed Idea to Save Small Businesses in Vancouver

Saving Small Businesses in Vancouver

So, it’s all speculation and “talks” at this point, but did you hear that the City of Vancouver is seeking provincial approval to change the way some small businesses are taxed?

This comes as a new initiative to try and address the tax increases that have negatively impacted local small businesses. 

According to a recent article in the Globe & Mail, “The plan essentially clears municipalities to reduce the massive property taxes that small businesses, as well as those engaged in the arts, culture and non-profit sectors, can face on potential development.” When giving an example, Mayor Kennedy Stewart cited the example of a two-storey building with a mom- and-pop business on the first floor. “If that building is rezoned for, say, a 12-storey building, what happens is the value of that building goes up and so does the tax assessment,” he said. The increase is passed on to the small businesses. “That’s where you hear these stories of 200- or 300- or 400-per-cent tax increases without any warning.” The mayor said the split assessment would mean small businesses would maintain their tax at the same level as before the development, with the new tax load redistributed among all businesses across the city.

If these “ideas” become a reality, it will be a Canadian first. And ultimately, it could save many of these small businesses that really make Vancouver the unique, vibrant, and community-centered city it is. 

Two people quoted in the Globe & Mail article, Lisa Dominato and Aaron Aerts, both felt it would be a very important step in saving local, small businesses. 

Lisa Dominato of the Non-Partisan Association:. “Independent small businesses are critical to a strong local economy. The creation of a new commercial sub-class will reduce the tax burden on small-business tenants and support their long- term viability."

Aaron Aerts of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business: “It can provide targeted and significant tax relief to those small business hit hardest by skyrocketing property taxes.”

Not sure how this plan will work in reality, or how it will impact other businesses/sectors in our community, but the fact that there are open discussions on how we can save small, local businesses is a step in the right direction. 

Have an opinion? Feel free to check out our instagram, and join the discussion! @Cahill_CPA

For the full article, written by Ian Bailey, click here

Jordan Cahill

Jordan Cahill is a Chartered Accountant (CA) and Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) with a bachelor degree in business from Simon Fraser University. He articled at a national CA firm in Vancouver,BC and previously held a position at the Canada Revenue Agency as a business auditor.



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