…AND PROPERTY TAX ACTION PLAN: Businesses Need to Advocate for a Fair Tax Climate
Unexpected property tax increases for businesses over the past year, with more expected in 2022, has resulted in the Surrey Board of Trade receiving numerous complaints. Further compounding the issue is the unprecedented delay in the release of the City of Surrey’s 2022 Budget.
“It is the 2nd week of December and never before has the City of Surrey Budget release been so late” said Anita Huberman, President & CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade. “Businesses bear the weight of the tax burden and need to be able to plan ahead for tax payments. Further, businesses need the advanced ability to review the budget documents to provide input, as is their right as taxpayers.”
The City Budget is important to taxpayers to ensure that investments for Surrey’s business community focus on the local economy, today and in the future. The Surrey Board of Trade wants a safe, affordable, vibrant, interconnected, and inclusive city that fosters innovation while ensuring Surrey’s tax rates support and encourage business growth, retention and infrastructure investments.
“Class 4, 5, 6 have faced increases as high as 150% these past three years. This is unacceptable and unsustainable. There is no room for delays, given cash flow challenges resulting from the pandemic. We need a tax climate conducive to the success and sustainability of businesses. Over the years, all levels of governments have put significant tax burdens on business. This is a critical issue and one which we, as the voice of business in Surrey, will continue to draw attention to. The City needs to be accountable to the taxpayers by providing a reason why there is an unprecedented delay in the release of the budget”, said Huberman.
REASONS FOR TAXATION:
1. BC Assessment and land values
2. Municipal tax allocation and budgets
3. Regional taxation
4. Provincial taxation – school tax
5. Housing and industrial supply
WE CALL ON SURREY BUSINESSES TO PARTICIPATE IN THE FOLLOWING ACTION PLAN:
1. Write letters and send feedback to your local, provincial, regional governments and senior officials.
Message: support business; don’t shut us down; high, unforeseen tax increases are unsustainable;
2. Make sure your assessments are evaluated by an expert when they are received in January 2022;
3. Advocate for:
a) all levels of government to be more transparent and accountable on upcoming tax decisions and changes;
b) a more effective assessment process and land value structure;
c) a corporate vote;
d) proactive communication by all levels of government to business (and appropriate allocation of time to enable review, comment and adjustments to the budget); and,
e) a comprehensive tax review;
4. Ask government what businesses can expect to receive in return for paying such high tax increases (as high as 150%);
5. Speak at the council meeting where the city budget is presented;
6. Review your industry classification;
7. Amplify your voice through media;
8. Use the power of social media to bring awareness; and,
9. Add your voice to the Surrey Board of Trade’s advocacy efforts.