Just a quick note about council proceedings last night. One of the highlights was our passage, by unanimous vote, of fourth and final reading of the bylaws enacting the 2015 budget.
As noted earlier, the budget calls for the smallest property-tax increase (2.34%) in a decade and continues the laudatory trend of decreasing annual percentage increases.
The budget also calls for another one-point "tax shift" which seeks to gradually reduce the large gap between the too-high property-tax rate that commercial properties pay and the rate that residential properties pay.
As I pointed out last night during our brief discussion about the budget, our tax-shift policy appears to be working. Indeed, the bylaw contains a rather revealing graph (see adjoining graphic) showing quite clearly that the tax burden on business is declining in relation to the burden on homes.
Some of this change is undoubtedly due to the fact that the residential-property base in Coquitlam is growing faster than the commercial-property base. But I am also assured that the tax shift is contributing to this pattern as well.
This is good news for business and business-lobby groups, which have long complained that our commercial tax rate is far to high. Here is a link to one of many stories on the issue. But it's also good news for residents, because a healthy business community is good for everyone.