STATEMENT | Delta Chamber Pleased Delta is Ready To Welcome Ride-Hailing Services & Looks Forward to Service Expansion
On Thursday, January 23, 2020, the Passenger Transportation Board (PTB) approved the Uber and Lyft applications to operate in the Lower Mainland and Whistler. While this approval covers operations across the Lower Mainland and in Whistler it will not immediately cover this entire area.
Lyft’s initial service area includes the Vancouver International Airport, the Pacific National Exhibition and the City of Vancouver core. Uber’s initial offering includes a core area surrounding Vancouver – including North Delta and Ladner, but excluding Tsawwassen, Tsawwassen First Nation, and the BC Ferries Tsawwassen terminal. Uber riders are currently able to be dropped off in these locations, however the app will not allow for pick-ups.
The City of Delta has an existing business licensing process in place for ride-hailing companies, like Lyft and Uber, with a base annual business license fee of $110 plus $25 per car; with a cap per company of $1,500, which is consistent with the business license fees paid by taxis that operate in Delta. In December 2019 Delta’s Mayor, George Harvie, explained in a press release on the topic that the City has “established a simple and reasonable business licensing system for ride-hailing to ensure that we are treating ride-hailing companies and taxis fairly while allowing our residents to access improved transportation services. We look forward to ride-hailing companies operating in Delta as soon as the Province allows them to.”
STATEMENT | Delta Chamber Looks Forward to More Details on Upcoming Provincial Legislation for Interim Business Property Tax Relief
On January 17th the provincial government announced that it plans to introduce interim legislation during the 2020 Spring Session which would give municipalities the ability to exempt a portion of the value of a select number of commercial properties from the full effects of property taxation; easing the tax burden for their tenants responsible for property taxes through their commercial leases.
The current practice of assessing properties on their highest and best use for potential future redevelopment as designated in a municipality’s official community plan, versus their current use, and of assessing total potential future property at a business rate can create a challenging situation for independent property owners who do not have the available capital to re-develop their property to its highest and best use now; nor to wait out the often multi-year municipal development approval process.
2019 was a growth year for your Chamber and I am grateful for the opportunities over this past year to meet many of you and learn about your businesses and how they contribute to the well-being of our community. I appreciate your trust and commitment to work with your Delta Chamber and help us grow a stronger business network and create positive changes for Delta.