Surrey City Hall

Tax hike given early nod

Surrey tax bills rising about $90, and a recreation levy now expanded to cover any capital projects

Surrey’s taxes are going up by almost $90, as the city has given early endorsement to its five-year financial plan.

City councillors met as the finance committee last Wednesday (Feb. 10) to discuss a budget for this year that calls for $88.30 in new taxes and levies.

As The Leader reported late last month, the city is planning a 3.9 per cent tax hike, which will be $70.28 for the average home worth $671,000.

In addition, Surrey is increasing a road levy by one per cent – an added $18.02 per average household – bringing the levy to $128 for next year.

The levy was introduced in 2007 as a temporary five-year measure. It has not only remained, but increased by one per cent annually since then.

The city has also endorsed a 3.9-per-cent increase in fees and charges, such as business licences, dog licences and recreation centre fees.

In Surrey’s last five-year financial plan, council aimed to hike property taxes by 2.9 per cent this year. The current plan bumps that up by one per cent.

Utilities, including garbage, sewer and water, will increase by $27.50 per home – half of which is a result of Metro Vancouver  increases.

A $100 recreation and culture levy announced weeks after the election in 2014 will also remain in place this year.

However, council has chosen to rename it a capital levy, which will allow it to be used on any capital project.

Finance committee chair Tom Gill has consistently said he’s extremely reluctant to cut back on the city’s ambitious capital program.

Some of the projects in the works are a new North Surrey arena ($45 million), ice rinks in Cloverdale ($30 million), recreation and library facilities in Clayton ($40 million) and about $10 million for the next phase of the museum in Cloverdale.

Cost pressures on the city this year were significant.

It’s the first year Surrey will pay for a full year of newly hired RCMP officers. The cost for that alone will be $15 million.

On Feb. 10, Surrey council committed to hiring 16 more police officers this year, which will arrive in October.

In addition, Surrey is hiring four more bylaw officers and another senior position at the Surrey Fire Department.

The Surrey Board of Trade said it’s cautiously optimistic about the budget endorsed last week.

“As the independent voice of business we do request that the city reduce the new higher, property tax rate at the earliest possible opportunity to maintain Surrey’s competitive status for business attraction in the region,” the SBOT wrote in a letter to council.

Surrey council is expected to endorse the budget in full at its regular meeting on Feb. 22.

 

 

Just Posted

Dr. Lipjob avoids jail, gets 30-day suspended sentence

She will have to serve the 30 days in prison if she commits a breach during her two-year’s probation

Surrey farmers taking stock of revamped Canada Food Guide

Products that were once big at the table — like meat and dairy — have been put on the back-burner

‘The dog picks the job’: Meet the newest member of the Surrey RCMP

Cambria, a labrador-golden retriever mix, is the first victim services dog at the detachment

Cloverdale’s Dan Gibbons remembered for his devotion, humour

Longtime local served with RCMP for more than 35 years

Surrey RCMP say men with gun steal Jeep from mom, daughter

Police say they are looking for video footage, and two South Asian suspects

Canada’s archive buys rare book that hints at Nazi plans for North America

The 1944 book may have served as a blueprint for a Nazi purge

Widow’s petition demands mandatory training for truckers

Truck driver Stephen Babij was killed in a head on semi truck collision on Highway 1 in 2017

Ex-Mountie involved in Taser death at Vancouver airport sues government

Kwesi Millington claims he acted in accordance with RCMP training

Richmond businesses struggle to hire and keep staff because of high cost of housing

Chamber of commerce calls for diverse housing options, redevelopment of George Massey corridor

LETTER: Seniors home care, day programs expanding, Adrian Dix says

B.C. health minister responds to latest Seniors Advocate report

B.C. woman wins Instagram celebrity’s boob job contest

‘Kirill was here’ held a contest for women to win a boob job and a trip to Miami

Man pulls over to help injured owl, gets hit by SUV

Chase RCMP say owl flew away while they were on scene

Most Read