A progressive tax uses a lower tax rate on people who have less and a higher rate on those who have more.

But right now, Vancouver is not allowed to tax mansions at a different rate than other residential properties. 

Through this campaign, we are asking the City and the Province to work together to change the Vancouver Charter – legislation that outlines what Vancouver has power over – so that the City has the ability to levy a progressive property tax on its portion of property taxes.

City Councillor Jean Swanson will be bringing a motion to Vancouver City Council in the spring of 2022, asking City staff to research the financial and legal structure of a municipal progressive property tax, and to provide options for the most effective way that such a tax could help to end homelessness.


What could a mansion tax look like in Vancouver?

With a progressive property tax, we could tax the owners of the 5,000 most valuable properties – properties valued over $5 million and over $10 million. 

If there were an additional surtax of 1% on the value of residential properties over $5 million and 2% on the value over $10 million, the City would have collected approximately $225,000,000 from 4,806 properties in 2021. Of this, $63,386,081 would be raised from 4,162 residential properties valued over $5M, and $161,422,774 would be raised from only 644 very expensive properties valued over $10M.

In this scenario, only the richest Vancouverites would pay the mansion tax. The majority of homeowners paying the ‘provincial school tax’ today (between $3M - $5M) would not be affected. 


Tax bracket

# of properties

Annual Mansion tax revenues

Properties valued $5M to $10M



Properties valued over $10M







A property valued at $4,999,999 million would see no increases in its property tax, and a property valued at $5,000,001 would see only a one cent increase (1% of the $1 dollar over $5M).

Note that multi-family residential buildings (e.g. apartment buildings) are excluded from this scenario.


The current system: regressive taxation

The City of Vancouver collects a majority of its annual revenues from property taxes. In 2022, the City will be collecting $995,894, or 57%, of its operating revenues from property taxes. 

However, under the Vancouver Charter, the City is not allowed to charge different rates for more valuable properties. This year, the City’s portion of property tax (general purpose tax levy) applied the same rate of 0.16% to all residential properties, whether for a small bachelor condo or a $75 million dollar mansion.

In contrast, the Provincial government’s portion of property tax (provincial school tax) is progressive. This year the base rate for residential properties was 0.1%, but there were two higher tax brackets of +0.2% for the value of properties over $3M and +0.4% for the value over $4M. These additional tax brackets were put in place in 2018, the year after Councillor Swanson campaigned for a Mansion Tax in Vancouver; however, these ‘school tax’ revenues go straight to the Province, not the city, and they are not earmarked for housing.


Existing property exemptions for seniors and those who are “property rich, income poor”

An additional low income grant supplement can be provided for seniors earning less than $32,000 a year.

B.C. homeowners who are 55 years or older, a surviving spouse, or eligible persons with disabilities can also apply to defer their property taxes. Deferment is also available for homeowners who financially support a dependent child.