At a glance (2 minute read)

  • Small businesses in Vancouver have until March 31 to apply for tax relief through the new Development Potential Relief Program (DPRP).
  • For eligible properties, the DPRP will result in a portion of the land value being taxed at a rate 50 per cent lower than the city’s usual general purpose tax rate.

Vancouver City Council is the first BC municipality to approve a pilot DPRP.  

The DPRP, enabled by provincial legislation, supports independent, small businesses that pay disproportionately high taxes due to development potential.

How the DPRP works

Property taxes are assessed based on their highest and best use, and for properties with development potential, the assessed value would be higher than the value of the current use.

For eligible properties, the DPRP will result in a portion of the land value being taxed at a rate 50 per cent lower than the city’s usual general purpose tax rate for light industry and business properties.

Approximately 1,360 properties are eligible to benefit from the pilot program. 

How to apply for tax relief

Owners of eligible properties will be required to:

  • submit a declaration by March 31, 2023;
  • attest that their properties were occupied on October 31, 2022;
  • notify their tenants of the tax relief; and
  • confirm the primary use of their properties is not one or more of the ineligible uses under the pilot program.

Vancouver plans engagement

As the first municipality to implement the DPRP, Vancouver plans to engage with stakeholders to assess the effectiveness of the program and review potential improvements.

Land assessment averaging

Vancouver council has approved the continuation of targeted five-year land assessment averaging for eligible residential, light industry, and business properties.

Averaging helps address assessment volatility and benefits approximately 7,570 residential and 3,200 light industry and business properties.

The provincial government passed the development potential tax relief legislation in November 2022. This legislation is effective starting in the 2023 tax year, replacing the Interim Business Property Tax Relief program introduced by the Province in March 2020.