We have an appliance that is costing us $373 a year in city fees because the City of Surrey, in its infinite wisdom, has decreed that if you have an additional stove in your house, you have a suite and are therefore subject to suite fees.
We have no issue with paying for what we use, but where is the fairness in our having to pay the additional charge of $373 per year for an unused appliance in our own home, when there are homes in this neighbourhood that are occupied by extended families that outnumber us three to one?
After doing a little online research, I was able to identify 17 homes within a three-block stretch on either side of our home that are also being charged the suite fees (this information is available on the city’s website). That amounts to $6,341 in additional revenue from just three blocks on one street.
The sad part is that I know of several homes in my area with tenanted suites in them, but they are not on record with the city as containing a suite and so do not pay the suite fee.
It is an obvious scam on the city’s behalf to extract extra revenue from a soft target, and it is inequitable.
A second stove in my basement puts no stress on the city; it uses no city utilities or services, therefore when fees are still demanded it is simply theft.
The city has initiated this scam rather than deal with the real problem.
The city’s mayor and council don’t have the nerve to pursue the true abusers of the system, i.e. multi-suite homes and boarding houses disguised as single-family residences, so, it devises ways of making up the short fall by pursuing people like us.
Considering the waste of taxpayer dollars that goes on unchecked in this city, it is time that council figured out how to apply a user-pay system.
If everyone who is paying this additional tax voted against the incumbent council members in the next election, perhaps we could elect some fiscally responsible individuals for a change.