Residents share opinions on proposed Surrey tax increases

SURREY – Residents shared their concerns over Surrey’s proposed tax increases on Monday at city hall. The average tax bill is set to increase from $1593 to $1755 in 2015, a $162 jump, which would include a new $100 cultural and recreation levy, a one per cent road and tax levy and a 2.9 per cent property tax increase.

The $100 cultural levy is proposed to pay for the city’s capital projects, such as the Grandview and Guildford pools, as the city looks at a $3.9 million bill for 2015 to hire the 100 new officers Surrey First promised during the election. The city is also facing a $3.7 million increase for fire services due to a new contract signed this fall.

Secondary suite fees are also set to increase, from $410 to $526.

Resident concerns varied, including how the tax increases would affect low-income families, that Surrey First didn’t speak of the increases during the recent civic election and that the secondary suite fee increase would result in higher costs for renters, thus diminishing the city’s affordable housing stock.

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