Development Potential Relief Program
On March 8th, 2023, the City of Vancouver passed a Development Potential Relief Pilot Program (DPRP) that will offer eligible properties a reduced tax rate on a portion of the assessed land value of class 5 and 6 properties.
Properties are assessed based on their highest and best use. For some properties with development potential, this can lead to disproportionate property taxes as the assessed value would be higher than the value of the current use.
Last year, the Province of British Columbia passed legislation giving municipalities the power to offer a reduced municipal tax rate to select properties facing disproportionate tax bills.
BOMA BC was a key stakeholder in the provincial consultations last year to develop a tool to help municipalities offer relief for properties with development potential. While we support the City of Vancouver’s new pilot program in principle, BOMA BC encouraged the City of Vancouver to expand the list of eligible properties more equitably.
Should the Pilot program become permanent next year, BOMA BC will continue to strongly encourage the City to ensure the list of eligible properties is expanded.
How does the new tax rate work?
For eligible properties, the DPRP will result in a portion of the land value being taxed at a rate 50 percent lower than the City’s usual general-purpose tax rate for light industry and business properties. In other words, the DPRP tax rate would be 50% lower than the blended Class 5/6 tax rate.
5% to 55% of the eligible property’s assessed land value would be subject to the DPRP tax rate, depending on the neighbourhood/zoning district, up to a maximum of $5.4 million.
Approximately 1,360 properties are eligible to benefit from the pilot program, subject to a declaration process. Declaration forms are currently being sent out to eligible property owners in the mail.
Property eligibility criteria:
- It has land and improvements in Class 5 and/or 6.
- It was in use as of October 31st of the preceding tax year.
- It has a combined Class 5/6 land value that is greater than or equal to 95% of the total Class 5/6 assessed value.
As stated by the City, the Program supports independent, small businesses and community partners paying disproportionately high taxes due to development potential. Approximately 1720 properties were excluded from eligibility as they did not fit the criteria of being “independent businesses or community partners in neighbourhood retail along high streets.”
How to receive property tax relief and next steps
Owners of eligible properties are required to submit a declaration by 11:59 pm on March 31st, 2023, confirming that:
- Their properties were in use and not vacant on October 31st, 2022
- They must notify eligible occupants of the tax relief
- The primary use of their properties is not one or more of the ineligible uses
Only one declaration is required per property.
If you have any questions, please contact our Government Relations Director at firstname.lastname@example.org