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We’re seeing many property tax bills that are coming in 20 per cent higher than last year: Councillor Linda Annis

Surrey, B.C. (June 7, 2022): Surrey First Councillor Linda Annis says it is time for Doug McCallum to invest in a calculator as many local property tax bills are coming in 20 per cent higher than last year, not the 2.9 per cent increase the mayor brags about.

“Property tax bills last year were also higher than Doug McCallum’s promised 2.9 per cent increase and we’re seeing another giant increase this year,” said Annis. “Surrey residents just can’t afford Doug McCallum and his fast and loose approach to the city’s finances. Taxpayers are paying the price for the police transition which is siphoning off every available dollar and is more than a year behind schedule. As a result, Surrey residents should expect to see Doug McCallum dig even deeper into our wallets if he’s reelected.”

Annis said McCallum also tripled the $100 parcel tax in 2021,  and that increase continues in 2022, but that increase is not part of his 2.9 per cent increase.

“People are not interested in this sort of smoke and mirrors when it comes to their taxes,” added Annis. “All of us go to the bottom line to see what our actual tax bill is, and I’m hearing from more and more people that the mayor’s 2.9 per cent increase is a complete myth, and not even close to the real number.”

Annis said a new city council will need to go through Surrey’s finances to get the facts and the real state of the city’s books, particularly when it comes to the cost of the police transition.

“No other initiative in our city’s history has eaten away at tax dollars faster than Doug McCallum’s poorly planned police transition,” said Annis. “Police transition costs are hidden at city hall and kept out of sight. Based on what we know today, I estimate the real cost will be over $200 million. That’s money that should have been spent on parks, pools, rinks, libraries, roads and other core city services. That sort of financial mismanagement is the reason I want to see Surrey join other levels of government and have its own auditor general. Our city budget is $1.2 billion and growing, so having that independent oversight is a good way to give taxpayers confidence in how their money is spent.”