The City of Surrey approved a 2020 budget that substantially increased the property taxes paid by all Class 4 major industrial businesses.
“Surrey has the greatest number of manufacturers in BC,” said Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade, “but these insurmountable tax increases on top of pre-COVID-19 and during COVID-19 induced economic slowdown has the potential to push these businesses out of Surrey, compromising Surrey’s growth and economic prosperity. The City of Surrey has a leadership opportunity for their fiscal 2021 budget to enhance our assets and assist in job creation, not tax increases.”
Surrey Mayor and Council’s 2020 Financial Plan, presented in December 2019, set out annual residential property taxes would only increase by 2.9% for the average single-family dwelling, as a cost of living increase, and some businesses could face a property tax increase of 5.5%.
Arising from our review of the 2020 Plan, the Surrey Board of Trade wrote to Council in December 2019, identifying two classes of businesses that would be facing a significant, unexpected tax increases: Major Industry (Class 4) – to $24.00 per $1,000 assessment – up from $9.41 per $1,000; and Business (Class 6) property tax increase of 5.5% (2.9% increase + 2.6%). These two significant 2020 tax increases were not an acceptable increase in one year. There was no consultation on proposed tax rates with the business community leading up to the 2020 Financial Plan or following our letter to Council. The 2020 tax increase is unfairly weighted against Surrey’s manufacturing sector. One local manufacturing business experienced an increase of 155% in their year over year comparing 2019 property tax to 2020.
“On June 30, we sent a letter to Mayor and Council requesting our elected officials sit with affected parties and discuss a mutually beneficial path forward. We received a response from one City of Surrey Councillor and a City of Surrey staff person.
“We urge the City to reconsider the Class 4 tax increase on major industry. A 155% tax increase is unfairly punitive during the best of times and considering the impact COVID 19 has had on businesses this year, creates a heavy burden for the local business community to shoulder. We therefore ask the City to reduce the Class 4 tax increase.”
Anita Huberman, 604-634-0342, firstname.lastname@example.org