Property Tax Increases Unacceptable and Unsustainable for Businesses
Over the past three weeks, the Surrey Board of Trade has received numerous complaints about the high percentage level of property tax increases for businesses.
“Class 5 and 6 are facing average increases of 16.9% and 27.3% this year, respectively,” said Anita Huberman, President and CEO, Surrey Board of Trade. “Businesses do not have the capacity to pay such high taxes given the cash flow challenges caused by the pandemic, supply shortages, natural disasters, inflation, interest rate increases, and workforce challenges. We need a tax climate that is conducive to the success and sustainability of businesses. Over the years, all levels of governments have put significant tax burdens on business, including regulatory burdens that inhibit a business’ ability to grow.”
SURREY TAX PULSE SURVEY REPORT
The Surrey Board of Trade released the Surrey Property Tax Pulse Survey Report.
Below are the Surrey property tax changes between 2022 and 2023.
· Industry (Class 5) – 16.9% increase
· Business (Class 6) – 27.3% increase
· Residential (Class 1) – 21.1% increase
REASONS FOR TAXATION:
1. BC ASSESSMENTS & LAND VALUES
Assessed values of land for all asset classes increased significantly across the market. BC Assessment determines the value of each property each year at July 1, using the income approach to valuation, using market rent rather than actual rent. The assessed value could be higher than market or appraised value. A limited number of businesses go to BC Assessment to dispute the value of their home or business property.
2. MUNICIPALITY TAX ALLOCATION AND MUNICIPAL BUDGETS
Each municipality allocates a tax rate for each type of property. Any budget increases or re-allocations by council will increase taxes .
3. REGIONAL TAXATION
The tax rate includes amounts for BC Assessment, Metro Vancouver, Municipal Finance, sewer and TransLink. This increase appears to differ by municipality.
Supply continues to be strained in an already underserved market.
WHAT CAN BE DONE
Write letters and send feedback to your local, provincial and regional governments and senior officials
Speak at the council meeting where the city budget is presented
Advocacy on assessments and land values
Advanced and proactive communication by all levels of government to business (give time to support adjustments)
Review industry classifications
Advocate for a corporate vote
Government needs to conduct a comprehensive tax review
Present to the public budget meeting of your council
Let the media know to amplify your voice
Use the power of social media to bring awareness
Add your voice the Surrey Board of Trade’s advocacy efforts
Anita Huberman, email@example.com, 604-340-3899