City of Surrey proposes property tax hike of 2.9% in 2021

Nov 17 2020, 2:18 pm

The proposed property tax hike for the City of Surrey in 2021 is 2.9%, which is the same rate set for the 2019 and 2020 budgets.

Additionally, there will also be a $200 increase to the Capital Parcel Tax applied on every residential property to help fund the capital plan. This would triple the existing Capital Parcel Tax rate of $100.

The increases in the property tax and Capital Parcel Tax will generate additional revenues of $11.2 million and $31.7 million, respectively, for the city.

Both measures are included in the municipal government’s draft 2021 budget that reflects the ongoing challenges of the pandemic.

“It has been Council’s approach to manage our public dollars prudently, and it is a testament to the economic strength of Surrey that we have been able to bring in a fully balanced budget that holds the line on property taxes,” said Mayor Doug McCallum.

“There is no question that COVID-19 has hit all of us hard economically, and Council recognizes the importance of not increasing the burden to our ratepayers. The adversity that we face now with the pandemic will eventually come to an end, and Budget 2021 plans for life after COVID by investing in public projects in the form of facilities, parks and other infrastructure projects. Surrey has weathered the economic storm caused by COVID, and Budget 2021 puts us on a steady and stable course to navigate the new year and beyond.”

The five-year capital plan spanning through 2025 totals $315 million, with the investments largely frontloaded in the first year.

In 2021, the value of the capital projects are proposed to total $182 million, including $23 million for the one-time capital costs of establishing and transitioning to the new Surrey Police Service (SPS).

Other major expenses next year entail $90 million for the new Newton Community Centre and land acquisition, $40 million for the next phase of design work for the City Centre Sports Complex, $6.1 million for the next phase of the $21-million Bear Creek Park Athletics Centre, and $1.75 million for the $3.7-million Kabaddi facility.

Another major capital project is the new Cloverdale Sport & Ice Complex, with its $50-million cost spread between 2022 and 2024. This three-year period will also see an additional $15 million investment towards the SPS’s capital costs.

The municipal government remains committed to launching the SPS next year. The operational cost for the new police service in 2021 is $184 million, which is largely reallocated from the operating funding that goes to the RCMP.

The Surrey Fire Service will see its force increased by 10 firefighters in 2021. These additional resources will be deployed to support existing staff in the North Surrey and Surrey City Centre areas.

Utility fees are also set to rise. On average, for water each year, a metered single-family home will pay $13.24 more, while a non-metered home will pay $29.44 more.

For sewage on average each year, metered single-family homes will pay $19.30 more, while non-metered residential will pay $42.88 more.

The annual solid waste disposal rates will go up by $9 for single-family and multi-family homes, $4 for secondary suites, and $1 for apartments and townhouses.

Over in the City of Vancouver, residents are facing a 2021 property tax increase of between 3% and 5%. If the municipal government does not take other measures, such as tapping into reserves, a property tax increase of 12% would be needed to balance the budget.

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