2021 City of Surrey Budget Needs to Focus on Economic Recovery

The Surrey Board of Trade will present local government budget recommendations on November 30 at a public hearing of the City of Surrey Finance Committee.

“The Surrey Board of Trade monitors public sector spending to maximize productivity in the economy and encourage growth in the private sector,” said Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade. “The city budget is important as we evaluate whether Surrey’s tax rates are conducive for business growth, retention and infrastructure investments. This year, especially in light of the pandemic, the City of Surrey budget needed to support and focus on only economic recovery initiatives.”


1.          TRANSPARENCY
a. More time is needed for public to review budget and to provide input
b. We applaud City Management in ensuring fiscal balance.
c. Is the use of tax dollars being effectively spent on Ethics Commissioner
d. Concern about debt.

2.          TAXES
a. Put a hold on parcel tax increase.
b. Class 4 businesses being unfairly taxed.
c. Issue tax relief to businesses and residents.
d. Drainage and flood protection infrastructure account requires clarity.
e. Concerns about Green City Fund as well as other contributions creating a level playing field for all developers.

3.          INVESTMENTS
a. Cannabis investments in Surrey could lead to a needed revenue stream for city budget.
b. Great work on digitization and streamlining efficiencies.
c. Limited art and culture infrastructure strategy.
d. Significant decrease in community and cultural grant program will compromise livability.
e. Invest in more city staffing.
f. Capital investments are positive – more could be done with shifting budget priorities.

4.          PUBLIC SAFETY
a. Focus on economic recovery spending. Pause the police transition.
b. Don’t compromise public safety in the short term by not investing in additional RCMP officers for 2021.
c. Fire Service hires positive; should be hired in first fiscal quarter of 2021.
d. Need to invest in hiring more bylaw officers.

Revitalize and invest in a modernized, engaged community-made economic strategy.

A comprehensive housing strategy needs investment, in alignment with land use and transportation throughout Surrey, as part of comprehensive un-siloed economic development strategy.

a. Need innovative transportation options for Surrey to reduce congestion.
b. Road Levy needed to be increased to expand and repair roads.


Anita Huberman
CEO, Surrey Board of Trade