It appears two parallel universes are occupying the same space here in Surrey.
In one, Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum, during his State of the City Address in May, triumphantly held to the proposition that the city under his leadership has maintained property tax increases at 2.9 per cent for three years in a row.
In the other, occupied by ratepayers like Fleetwood resident Barry Haithwaite, such claims ring hollow. He says his tax bill is 17.9 per cent higher.
And then there’s Laurel James. Her tax increase is 12 per cent. Or Annie Kaps – her tax bill increased by $399.35, and she says her widowed neighbour has been gifted with a tax increase of $409.
In this particular universe, which Tammy Ritchie shares with so many other Surrey residents, her tax bill skyrocketed by 52 per cent.
Sam Plett saw his business property tax increase by 45 per cent over last year. Ramona Kaptyn is paying 18 per cent more in taxes. Peadar O’brien’s property tax went up by 15 per cent. Walter R. Johnston also got a 15 per cent tax increase this time around. Adrian N. White? A 20 per cent increase.
Anita Huberman gets to pay $1,000 more in property tax in 2021.
Sandra Benz got a 22.79 per cent tax increase, while Rae Andrews’ bill was 15.9 per cent north of last year’s figure. Jim Merrifield was a little bit luckier, with a 15 per cent tax increase.
“Not nice for retirees,” he said.
Pearly Kay’s tax increase was eight per cent, while Bruce Hayne’s went up by 8.9 per cent.
This universe, that universe.
Same world, and yet, worlds apart.