Surrey Board of Trade Applauds City of Surrey on City Budget Public Engagement
-City Budget 2023 Needs to Focus on Reducing Business Taxation
The City of Surrey for the first time has launched a series of in-person engagements to seek feedback ahead of the 2023 budget process to hear the community’s priorities and what’s important to them. Feedback collected from open houses and an online survey will be used to help them prepare a draft budget for review by the Finance Committee prior to Council’s adoption of the budget.
“I attended the city budget open house on January 18 at the South Surrey Recreation Centre, and my key message was that the burden of taxation on business needs to stop,” said Anita Huberman, President & CEO, Surrey Board of Trade. “Businesses are exhausted with increasing taxation, rising costs and labour shortages. The City of Surrey, with ideas from the business community, needs to look at ways to generate revenue to build the needed infrastructure to be ready to be BC’s largest city.”
“We look forward to seeing this engagement begin earlier later this year for the 2024 budget so that it is ready for the new year. Further we would like to see the engagement grow to be easily accessible to all areas of Surrey, including Fleetwood and Cloverdale.”
The Surrey Board of Trade urges businesses and their staff to participate in the online survey and in the final city budget consultations taking place on:
Thursday, January 19 at Newton Recreation Centre from 4pm – 7pm
Saturday, January 21 at North Surrey Sport & Ice Complex from 10am– 3pm
The engagement sessions and survey input focus on the general operating and capital program component of the 2023 Five-Year (2023–2027) Financial Plan. The third budget component, which addresses utilities and other self-funded programs, proceeds directly to the Finance Committee for review and subsequent public hearing, and ultimately, Council consideration and adoption.
The Surrey Board of Trade monitors public sector spending to maximize productivity in the economy and encourage growth in the private sector. The City Budget is important as we evaluate whether Surrey’s tax rates are conducive for business growth, retention, and infrastructure investments. We need to ensure that businesses will not face a significant hit on their property tax bills in 2023, as they have experienced in the past four years.