2020 Budget (original, pre-COVID-19)

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Update: Thursday, February 13

Staff have refined the proposed tax rate increase and the following tax rates will be presented for Council’s consideration on February 24, 2020.

  • Operating Levy Increase – 3.74%
  • Asset Levy Increase – 0.5%
  • Natural Capital / Climate Response Levy – 1%

Review the revised 2020 Budget Highlights (PDF) to learn about this year's proposed budget at a glance.


Update: Tuesday, January 28

Staff provided the 6.16% number as a preliminary tax increase, in a report to Council on December 16, 2019, based on the best information available at that time. View the entire Proposed Five-Year Financial Plan 2020–2024 (PDF).

At the recent budget meeting on January 28, 2020, staff noted that this information had been updated, and the requested increase was now 5.48%. Council have yet to approve any increase, and staff will continue to refine the proposed tax rate increase as new information becomes available. A report with tax rate options will be presented for Council’s consideration on February 24, 2020.


What's in the proposed 2020 budget?

The 2020 proposed budget includes:

  • A proposed tax increase of 3.95%
  • An Asset Levy of 0.5%, and
  • A new Climate Levy of 1%

…for a total of 5.45%.

Mayor Mary Ann Booth helps explains the 2020 proposed budget:

Read the Mayor's Update


What is new this year?

This year, we are incorporating natural asset maintenance and climate action emergency response into the budget.

The budget will include projects to greatly lower the greenhouse gas emissions from both District operations and in the community, as well as climate change response projects such as tree canopy studies, storm water and foreshore management projects, wildfire protection and stream rehabilitation.

Learn more about West Vancouver’s Natural Assets


Budget information meetings

Thank you to everyone that attended a budget information meeting. Meetings took place on January 28, 29 and 30.

All questions asked at the information meetings and staff responses are featured in the Feedback tab below and as PDFs here:

Budget Information Meetings Presentation


BC Property Assessment

The average assessed value of residential properties in West Vancouver went down by 14.8%, from $2.9 million in 2019 to $2.5 million in 2020.

You can see the changes in the assessed value of residential properties in West Vancouver on an interactive heatmap:

2020 Assessment Change Heat Map

Additional information about the assessment of residential properties can be found on the BC Assessment website:

BC Assessment - Frequently Asked Questions



Update: Thursday, February 13

Staff have refined the proposed tax rate increase and the following tax rates will be presented for Council’s consideration on February 24, 2020.

  • Operating Levy Increase – 3.74%
  • Asset Levy Increase – 0.5%
  • Natural Capital / Climate Response Levy – 1%

Review the revised 2020 Budget Highlights (PDF) to learn about this year's proposed budget at a glance.


Update: Tuesday, January 28

Staff provided the 6.16% number as a preliminary tax increase, in a report to Council on December 16, 2019, based on the best information available at that time. View the entire Proposed Five-Year Financial Plan 2020–2024 (PDF).

At the recent budget meeting on January 28, 2020, staff noted that this information had been updated, and the requested increase was now 5.48%. Council have yet to approve any increase, and staff will continue to refine the proposed tax rate increase as new information becomes available. A report with tax rate options will be presented for Council’s consideration on February 24, 2020.


What's in the proposed 2020 budget?

The 2020 proposed budget includes:

  • A proposed tax increase of 3.95%
  • An Asset Levy of 0.5%, and
  • A new Climate Levy of 1%

…for a total of 5.45%.

Mayor Mary Ann Booth helps explains the 2020 proposed budget:

Read the Mayor's Update


What is new this year?

This year, we are incorporating natural asset maintenance and climate action emergency response into the budget.

The budget will include projects to greatly lower the greenhouse gas emissions from both District operations and in the community, as well as climate change response projects such as tree canopy studies, storm water and foreshore management projects, wildfire protection and stream rehabilitation.

Learn more about West Vancouver’s Natural Assets


Budget information meetings

Thank you to everyone that attended a budget information meeting. Meetings took place on January 28, 29 and 30.

All questions asked at the information meetings and staff responses are featured in the Feedback tab below and as PDFs here:

Budget Information Meetings Presentation


BC Property Assessment

The average assessed value of residential properties in West Vancouver went down by 14.8%, from $2.9 million in 2019 to $2.5 million in 2020.

You can see the changes in the assessed value of residential properties in West Vancouver on an interactive heatmap:

2020 Assessment Change Heat Map

Additional information about the assessment of residential properties can be found on the BC Assessment website:

BC Assessment - Frequently Asked Questions


CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

Post your question or comment about the 2020 Budget here and staff will post the answer publicly.

Deadline for participation is February 2, 2020 at 4 p.m.

You may also call or email us using the contact information above, or attend an information meeting. 

Personal information entered in this form is collected pursuant to section 26(c) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act for the purpose of augmenting and diversifying civic engagement (your username, question, and the District’s response to your question will be made public).  If you have any questions about the collection and use of this information please contact Legislative Services, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday excluding statutory holidays, at 604-921-3497 at Municipal Hall, 750 17th Street, West Vancouver BC V7V 3T3.

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    Under Council Priorities for 2019-2020 - the Municipal Services section states that DWV will review current services to see if any there can be a reduction, elimination or way of improving delivery of services effectively. To the best of our knowledge, no detailed review of staffing levels, related service levels or any detailed review of other costs has recently been done. Why not share with residents?

    Bob408 asked 8 months ago

    Staff are currently undertaking a Core Services Review but it is not yet complete. It remains a Council priority underway. 

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    At page 70 of the proposed budget draft document, in terms of "2019 OPERATIONAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS", the "300 per cent increase in referrals to Restorative Justice (RJ) from 2018 that also addressed a greater variety in crime types" was noted. North Shore Restorative Justice Society provides these RJ services. We would like to know where in the 2020-2024 budget the increasing use of our RJ services to address DWV needs, divert youth and first time offenders from the criminal justice system and reduce recidivism is being addressed.

    Tina P. asked 8 months ago

    The District provides an operating grant to North Shore Restorative Justice of $15K each year. The District also contributes $3k per year to the “Day in Court” program.


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    2020 budget revenue [ie charges to WV taxpayers] for (property tax+utilities) compared to 2014 is up 45.2%; inflation (CPI) from 31Dec2019 until 31Dec2019 is up 11.2% 2020 budget property tax (DWV only) up 39.8% since 2014. From 2014 until 2020 budget utilities billed to WV taxpayers is up 56.4%; and has increased from 32% of (property tax+utilities) in 2014 to 35% in the 2020 budget. ie a shift away from property taxes to fees for water, sewer, garbage etc. And so when analyzing how much the DWV charges its taxpayers, property taxes plus utilities must be combined in order to get a true picture. 2020 budget (property tax+utilities) charges to all WV taxpayers over 2019 budget (2029 actual not yet available) is a 6.4% increase and inflation in 2019 was 2.2%. This equals 4.2% real increase in charges to WV taxpayers for basics. Population and housing units relatively constant since 2014 (in fact declining according to our Mayor). The dollar amounts are all derived from past Annual reports and 5 year financial plans taken from the DWV website. In 2014 actual property taxes + Utilities billed to WV taxpayers was $84.8 million. In 2018 (note 12 annual report) that amount was $109.7 million and 2020 budget it is $123.1 million. Note 12 in the 2018 annual reports amounts were reconciled to prior annual reports and reconciled to 2018, 2019 and 2020 5 year plans. Please explain and justify why DWV needs to charge WV taxpayers 45% more for property taxes plus utilities in 2020 than 2014 when the inflation during this time was only 11.2%. I suspect that many WV taxpayers will say: "no way my property taxes did not increase that much from 2014 until 2019". Likely a true statement if their assessments were less than or around the average assessed value during this time. I believe, though, during this time assessments for "higher assessed houses" in total increase signficantly faster than the average and hence this drastic increase in the total property tax+utilities paid by WV residents was disproportionally paid for by taxpayers who owned higher than average assessed value homes. And the actual amounts charged by the DWV was masked by the rising assessed values. Please see a screen shot of the spreadsheet for more details. Does not attach, but I can email if you want / need it. cjensen@cjman.com

    CJ asked 8 months ago

    Water and Sewer & Drainage Utilities’ rates include a base charge and a volume/consumption charge. Depending on each household’s usage, the amount charged will vary. 

    In addition, the Water and Sewer & Drainage Utilities also have assets that need to be maintained and the rates include capital investment for this infrastructure. 

    The Sewer & Drainage Utilities includes a regional levy flow-through charge from Metro Vancouver and for construction of the North Shore Wastewater Treatment Plant. 

    The rates have increased over the past several years to account for the capital cost of this new treatment plant.For more information, please see the Sewer and Drainage Utility Fee Bylaw Council Report.

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    I would like to identify and ask a question in 3 areas that if focused on, could provide better quality of life, more affordable accommodations, and additional revenues for future budgets. Firstly, the enforcement of the British Columbia Motor Vehicle Act, with the associated penalties would not only make West Vancouver a safer community to live in , but also provide additional revenues to support policing costs. Judging by the deteriorating driving habits witnessed in Metro Vancouver and West Vancouver, additional enforcement officers would more than pay for themselves. I am assuming a fair share of revenue derived from driving penalties is paid back to West Vancouver from the Province of B.C. So why does West Vancouver not invest in more policing forces ? Secondly strengthening and more vigorous enforcement of the bylaws associated with the proliferation of BnB rentals in West Vancouver should be considered. Not only could more rental units be freed up for aspiring residents, but also additional revenues could be generated by enforcing violations associated with rental bylaws in West Vancouver. Does West Vancouver have plans to ensure the rental market is not disrupted by BnB activity ? Thirdly , Given the exorbitant cost of land in West Vancouver, why has West Vancouver not followed the same policy as the City of Vancouver in allowing for rezoning of 99% of the city's low-density, single-family (RS) neighbourhoods to allow for duplexes ? It would provide the opportunity for a wider spectrum of family income levels to have the opportunity of living in West Vancouver instead of commuting from some other area of Metro Vancouver. Presumably the tax base for West Vancouver increase. Many family units do not require the size of home that is associated with a typical West Vancouver property, yet desire a single family lifestyle in a modestly sized home.

    8 months ago

    To your first question, the B.C. government transfers 100 percent of net revenues from traffic violations to municipalities that are directly responsible for paying for policing as a grant. Transfer grant amounts are based on a municipality’s policing costs relative to the total policing costs paid by all municipalities. This grant provides municipalities additional funds to support community safety and address local policing priorities. In 2019, we received $0.71 million for this grant.

    To your second point regarding bylaw enforcement of short term rentals, we thank you for your comment and will pass your input on to Council.

    Regarding zoning for housing, this is very much a priority for Council. Council adopted the current Official Community Plan in 2018 after extensive community input. The plan acknowledges that West Vancouver has one of the highest housing costs and lowest vacancy rates in the region. In 2019, Council set a number of strategic goals with respect to increasing housing options in our community. 

    Thank you for your comments on this important topic - all input will be provided to Council.

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    The 6.11% increase is well above the 1.9% rate of inflation for 2019 and the 1.5% inflation rate used by Staff in the their Budget assumptions. It follows a trend of the last few years where increases have also been above the rate of inflation. While the Mayor and Council tell us they are concerned re housing affordability, increasing taxes well beyond the rate of inflation hurts affordability.

    Bob asked 8 months ago

    Thank you for your feedback. All input will be provided to Council.

    Mayor Booth has addressed some of your points in this letter to the Editor: West Vancouver's proposed budget is open for public input


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    I do not support your recommended increase in property taxes of 6%. Homeowners are being inundated with tax increases which are making homes less affordable. Mayor and Council have an obligation to keep tax increases no higher than the rate of inflation. Finding savings without cutting services in such a huge budget should be easy to achieve by just working harder and being more efficient as the Private Sector does every single day!!!

    Politics asked 8 months ago

    Thank you for your comments – your feedback will be provided to Council.

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    The property tax increase increase for West Vancouver is outrageous. It should be no more than the rate of inflation. Or less because it has grown so much prior to 2020. Reduce excess municipal staff levels especially in areas like communication, heritage, arborists, etc. Keep people who do real work like fixing roads.

    McKinney asked 8 months ago

    Thank you for your feedback. All input will be provided to Council.

    Mayor Booth has addressed some of your points in this letter to the Editor: West Vancouver's proposed budget is open for public input


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    Good Afternoon I will try to be concise hoping that the message will be read and well considered. First of all I am requesting more time for people to read previous financial reports and make their mind re the budget, you don't leave enough time for working class, busy running around to earn enough to survive here. Second - you have to learn to live from money you have and NOT to increase taxes for people or you face further downgrade of this beautiful city. Instead of brining young people, like current mayor promised there is reverse process. If you want to have three expensive offices in North Shore to govern population of about 500k you have to learn to spend less, otherwise people will go on the street one day to demand big changes. Thirdly - the transit it this city is very poor, another reason young people will not come to live here. We live at 3131 Deer Ridge Drive, there is lots of construction here, population growing, getting very old, no one with kids come to live here as it is famous for not having even local bus, maybe once every one hour at least, there is school, high rises, townhouses and detached houses and people going to ski at Cypress but not a single means of transportation. This is ridiculous, sorry for the strong words but we are from Europe where city cars are everywhere to help people, specially youth and seniors to move around. I am going to press that issue also for the sake of environmental issue, please see how many cars are there every single day as this is the only way to move there. We pay lots of taxes, there are many seniors and not a single bus to go to Park Royal at least. I do not agree with increase of wages, beyond regular 2-3% inflation level, did we not learn this from government. The only new positions should be for people who actively work for community and make it more vibrant and user friendly, all of us will agree with new bus drivers.

    Peter Lipski asked 8 months ago

    Thank you for your comment – your feedback will be provided to Council.

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    Please repair the Larson Bay Tennis Court. Thank you. James & Eileen Wright 6090 Blink Bonnie Road West Vancouver, BC V7W 1V8 604-240-8948

    James Wright asked 8 months ago

     Th Larson Bay Park tennis court will be commissioned as a result of a lengthy consideration process.

    The September 18, 2017 Council report titled “Asset Management Update Report” detailed the Larson Bay tennis court as a poor-condition and low-use asset. The report stated that feedback from the community consultation, undertaken in the fall of 2016, indicated that the retention of the tennis court was desired by the local community.

    Prior to the September 18, 2017 Council meeting, the Council report was reviewed by the District’s Finance Committee. In this review, the Finance Committee recommended, in a covering memo to the Council report, that Larson Bay tennis court be decommissioned. This recommendation in the District’s Finance Committee memo was subsequently incorporated into the “Asset Management Update Report” and approved by Council at the September 18, 2017 meeting.

    Decommissioning was scheduled in 2019.

    Staff and Council received a petition requesting reconsideration of the decision and that staff meet with local residents. At the community-organized meeting at the court, staff informed the residents that the District would evaluate next steps.

    On November 5, 2019, Staff provided a verbal update to the Finance Committee on the Larson Bay tennis court and that local residents had requested that the decision be revisited. The Finance Committee moved and Seconded that the original decision to decommission the Larson Bay Tennis Court be upheld.


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    Question asked at the January 30 budget information meeting: In terms of property taxes, the proposed increase is 5.48% and the utility rate increase is 5.99%?

    8 months ago

    The property tax rates and the utility rates are separate. The utility rates have already been set by Council.