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Ladner promises 3 per cent cap on property taxes

NPA mayoral candidate Peter Ladner promised today that property taxes would rise by no more than three per cent over three years if his party gains a majority on city council.

“The next three years may be the most financially challenging years most of us will have faced in our lifetime,” Ladner told reporters at Non-Partisan Association headquarters. “Now, more than ever, Vancouver needs stability.”

If elected, Ladner promised the NPA would set property taxes from a fixed three-year operating budget for the city. Tax increases would be capped at three per-cent each year.

Ladner was unable to provide a dollar cost for the plan or point to any specific spending cuts that would finance it. He said only that an NPA-led council would “have to make some tough decisions” to keep the plan afloat.

Asked whether the NPA would maintain the tax cap if inflationary costs exceeded three per cent, Ladner stayed firm.

“That’s the maximum,” he said. “It won’t go up more than three per cent.”

Vision Vancouver council candidate Kerry Jang said Ladner won’t be able to deliver on his promise. Jang said property taxes have gone up nearly 20 per cent over the last three years under NPA Mayor Sam Sullivan’s rule.

He said he expects the rate of taxation to increase at least 10 per cent over the next year to recoup the costs of expensive initiatives such as Project Civil City and the Ambassador Program.

Jang said Vision’s promise to keep property tax increases in line with inflation was more realistic than the NPA’s.

“We’re going to look at the books very carefully and reallocate funds from wasteful projects," he said.

Geoff Dembicki is a staff reporter for the Hook.

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