BCBusiness: The Boom Reaches Middle Age

Quoted from BCBusiness' March 2018 Development Feature

"Amid rule changes and interest-rate rises, developers are working hard to address the residential supply problem. But there are still challenges few outside the industry know about."

"There is pain, meanwhile, for many small business owners. Many commercial and retail leases are 'triple net,' meaning that an increase in assessments and the concurrent rise in property taxes, is passed directly to the lessee. Warren Smithies, Senior Vice President at Martello Property Services, believes that ill-conceived tax policies by municipal governments have unfairly driven up property taxes for main street retailers. 

He cautions that for the long-term health of our local restaurants, shops, and bars, municipalities like the City of Vancouver have to stop levying commercial property tax mill rates on undeveloped density that will one day be turned into towers of condos. They should be taxed at residential rates, which is their future use.

Commercial mill rates are four times higher than residential, and those increases are directly passed on to the business owner. Smithies warns that if this practice is not halted, it will inevitably result in further hollowing out of our main streets as the city continues to densify these neighbourhoods"

Read the full article here.