Surrey city council voted to pass its 2021 budget Monday night, and home owners and businesses will see their property taxes rise by 2.9 per cent.
An annual $100 flat parcel tax for Surrey property owners will also be raised to $300 under the new budget, which passed 5-4.
Coun. Linda Annis said the middle of the coronavirus pandemic is not the time to be raising taxes.
“When we hear we’re going to be going into further lockdown, it means more people will be losing their jobs, they could be losing their homes,” she said. “And now we’re going to be raising taxes.”
But Coun. Laurie Guerra said taxes are low in Surrey compared to other cities.
“Surrey remains at the bottom one-third of municipalities in terms of residential taxes paid,” she said. “People are still flocking to Surrey in droves at a rate of 1,300 per month.”
Coun. Alison Patton said for business owners, rising taxes is just part of the deal.
“Any business owner understands cost of living increases, it’s a very basic concept, and if you do not follow with that, your business will suffer.”
The city expects the property tax increase to bring in an extra $11.2 million, while the parcel tax increase will raise another $31.7 million.
The budget includes $184 million in operating funding for the new Surrey Police Service, while funding for the RCMP has been cut by 25 per cent.
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