Bike Cafe: Copenhagen in Vancouver – Sep 8

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The Green Wave: How Can Vancouver Create Copenhagen-Like Bicycle Infrastructure?

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Although the City of Vancouver is off to a good start, to really achieve greenest city status, much more bicycle infrastructure is required. How can we involve people in achieving Copenhagen-like improvements?

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September 8

6 pm

Musette Caffè Chinatown – 75 East Pender Street  | Map

Admission: Free

Moderator: Dr. John Irwin

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Fun Fact: Port Mann Debt = 40 percent of referendum transport package

Surprise, surprise…

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From the Vancouver Sun:

The number of drivers taking the tolled Port Mann Bridge steadily declined last year, as the Crown corporation’s debt continues to swell to a projected $3.61 billion this year.
Once it gets to $3.75, it’ll be half the capital costs of all the projects proposed by the Mayors – everything from a Broadway subway to a new Pattullo Bridge.
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Not to worry. “Government insists it will pick up this year”
Considering traffic volumes, economic and population factors, including a million people coming to the region in the next twenty years, TI Corp. estimates long-term traffic growth on the Port Mann Bridge will grow at a rate of approximately 2.5 per year. It’s also counting on drivers tiring of long commutes to take alternate bridges, and coming back to the Port Mann.
However …
The corporation has said it won’t increase tolls beyond the rate of…

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Referendum Update: Question and Response

Metro Vancouver’s Livability On the Line: Transit “Plebiscite”

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For the record, here was the recommended ballot by the Mayors.  The changes made by the Province are noted below.

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Original

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Metro NewsB.C. approves transit referendum question, ballots mailed March 16

The final ballot will ask: “Do you support a new 0.5% Metro Vancouver Congestion Improvement Tax, to be dedicated to the Mayors’ Transportation and Transit Plan?”

The Province calls it a plebiscite – but everyone else is still calling it a referendum.  So will we.

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Vancouver Sun: Vote on proposed 0.5% transit tax could cost millions

B.C. says it will fund the plebiscite, but not the ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ campaigns

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Film and Discussion: “Home” – Jan 20

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Home

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The Rotaract Club of Vancouver is pleased to present the screening of the film “Home” along with a speaker panel on climate change by Gordon Price and Maged Senbel.’Home’ (2009) has won numerous awards for its unique cinematography that depicts the magnificent beauty of planet Earth. With aerial footage from fifty-four countries, ‘Home’ is a depiction of how Earth’s issues are all interlinked.
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Tuesday, January 20, 2015
6 – 9 pm
The Norm Theatre, UBC Campus – 6138 Student Union Blvd #130
Free.   RSVP via Eventbrite here. 
Details here.

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The Real Cost of Detached Housing

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Penny Coupland has a question for you excellently informed people:

I wonder if there’s anyone on your blog who can comment on the whole (local, BC, global) economics/personal economics of  living downtown without a car versus in the ‘burbs and driving for everything.  Maybe your blog commenters can provide some up-to-date numbers.

You have some excellently informed people on the blog – really enjoyed the stuff on the economics of home building in Vancouver.

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She’s wondering because of this:

macleans

Brookfield RPS crunched the data for Maclean’s, looking at how much prices for a detached home decline the farther you get from downtown. … With just one exception, prices dropped steadily the farther you get from each city’s central business district, although the rate of depreciation varies widely.

In Vancouver, where average prices within a 10-minute drive of downtown top the list at $1.5 million, real estate values fall by an average of…

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A Comparison of Property Tax Rates – 2

A new report compares tax rates among Metro Vancouver municipalities. A common perception is that the District of North Vancouver has higher tax rates than the City of North Vancouver. The truth, per $1000 of assessed value is that the City’s taxes are slightly higher.

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The second report from the Altus Group on comparisons of property tax rates – this time just among Metro Vancouver municipalities:

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2014 Property Tax Rate Comparison Report 

A deeper analysis into local tax rates across the Lower Mainland.

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Commercial rates (Vancouver is fourth from left)

Local commercial

Click to enlarge

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Residential rates (Vancouver is second from left):

Local - residential

Click to enlarge

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Altus notes the qualifier picked up in the comments on the first post:

From a residential assessment standpoint, West Vancouver, Vancouver and Richmond preserve the lowest property taxes per $1000 of residential assessment, while Delta, New Westminster and Abbotsford have the highest. These municipalities also enjoy the highest residential assessed values. This means, in order to balance the municipal budget, a lower tax rate is needed on much larger taxing base.

Large tax bases and the highest assessed property values allowed Vancouver to decrease residential tax rates for the…

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Addressing both high housing costs and transit funding with one tax

Very progressive – what do you think?

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Jeff Nagel just added this to the comments section under “The Beautiful Empty Homes of Vancouver.”

We (the Black Press newspaper group) in 2011 proposed a homeowner grant for TransLink much like the municipal version. It would allow more property tax to be raised for TransLink, which clearly needs more revenue, without the rate increase affecting the taxes on the typical owner-occupied home.

Those who would pay more would include ineligible foreign owned and non-owner occupied investment homes, neither of which qualify for muni homeowner grants either. An increase in their costs might arguably also provide some limited benefit on the housing affordability/efficiency issue. Our idea never got any traction but you can still read that editorial here.

Just to avoid wrist strain, and to make sure the proposal gets a higher profile, I reproduce it here:

 

A radical tax proposal

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