Tax hike looms in Surrey

While taxes are going up in Surrey this year, it’s not yet known by how much

Taxes are set to rise in Surrey this year.

While taxes are going up in Surrey this year, it’s not yet known by how much.

The City of Surrey’s Finance Committee considered utility increases Monday, which are expected to rise by approximately $22 for the average single-family residence ($13 for water, $5 for drainage and $4 for solid waste).

The solid waste increase is to support new initiatives in 2017, according to a city report, including service to high-rise customers, expanding existing services to curbside customers, increasing waste collection education programs and enhancing illegal dumping enforcement through surveillance technologies. The report notes that in 2016 the city brought down costs associated with illegal dumping by 40 per cent (by more than $400,000).

But operating and capital budgets have yet to be explored. Councillor Tom Gill said that work will begin once the utility rates are finalized.

As it stands in the budget right now, a 3.9 per cent property tax hike is planned plus another one per cent increase for the Road and Traffic Levy, which was introduced as a temporary measure in 2007.

And it’s expected the controversial $100 “capital” tax will continue, established in 2014 weeks after Surrey First swept all council seats. It was a move the city made as it grappled with paying for public safety increases while maintaining the capital projects it had on the books.

This year’s big question, said Gill, is “how aggressive” city council will decide it wants to be on its capital program as it relates to civic amenities.

“To be frank a lot of the time the capital budget does impact the contribution that would come in from the operating side,” he explained.

Gill expects the capital budget to be considered by city council  next month.

Last year, the city originally planned a 2.9 per cent property tax increase but the finance committee approved an increase of 3.9 per cent to pay for public safety increases while keeping up with planned capital projects. The bill for the average single-family home – valued at $671,000 in 2015 – jumped $88 for 2016, from $1,771 to $1,859.

See more: Surrey Board of Trade ‘cautiously’ supporting 2016 property tax increase

New this year, Gill is pushing to provide “additional transparency” on tax invoices, showing residents what portion of the city budget is spent on public safety.

“The intent is to show residents what our costs are associated to…. RCMP and the public safety office, fire services and bylaw enforcement,” said Gill. “The other thing I’m working on is to be able to articulate what we spend on parks, recreation and culture given that’s the single largest category outside of public safety in terms of a department.”

amy.reid@thenownewspaper.com

Just Posted

Surrey cold-case murder is Crime Stoppers’ ‘Crime of the week’

Police have yet to arrest a suspect in the April 24, 2011 murder of Devon Allaire-Bell, 19, in Newton

Surrey’s ready for winter with 17,000 tonnes of salt, online snow plow tracker

A sidewalk-clearing pilot project is continuing in City Centre this year

LETTER: Oppal should delay Surrey’s policing plan until we can vote in new mayor

In case of transition plan, red tape and bureaucracy might actually save Surrey’s skin

TransLink to discuss proposed bus-route changes at White Rock forum

“It is important that the opinions of riders are heard,” says mayor

SURREY EVENTS: ‘Classic Scary Movie Marathon’ for Halloween, and more

Concerts, plays, fundraisers and other events in our weekly guide for Surrey

Scheer, Trudeau, Singh haggle over potential minority government outcome

If you believe the polls, it appears the Liberals and Conservatives are neck-and-neck

Kawhi Leonard, former Toronto Raptor, welcomed back to Vancouver at pre-season game

Fans go wild at pre-season game between L.A. Clippers and Dallas Mavericks at Rogers Arena

Greens and NDP go head to head on West Coast; Scheer takes fight to Bernier

Trudeau turns focus to key ridings outside Toronto after two days in Quebec

Canucks beat Stanley Cup champs 4-3 in a shootout

Leivo nets winner, Vancouver dumps St. Louis for fourth straight win

‘The more you test, the more you find’: Beef recalls a sign of success, experts say

Despite appearances, experts say a recent rise in major recalls is not a sign of food supply problems

Scholars say religious vaccine objections can’t be traced to Biblical sources

Vaccinations are a requirement to attend class in Ontario and New Brunswick, while B.C. launched a demand this fall

ELECTION 2019: How would the major parties address Canada’s housing crisis?

Promises include speculation taxes, more affordable housing, and declaring housing a human right

Workers at four Vancouver hotels ratify contract with higher wages, job security

Unite Here Local 40 president Zailda Chan says it’s the first hotel strike in Vancouver in nearly two decades

Japanese buyer expands wood pellet contract with B.C.’s Pinnacle

Mitsui and Co. increases contract with Interior energy producer

Most Read