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Mayor had a choice and she picked unnecessary tax increase: Councillor Linda Annis

Surrey, BC (May 27, 2024): With residential property tax notices arriving, Surrey First Councillor Linda Annis says there was actually no need for a tax increase this year.

“If Mayor Brenda Locke and her councillors had accepted the $250 million from the provincial government to help fund the police transition, and the city stopped sitting on nearly $90 million in severance for the Surrey Police Service (SPS), there would be no property tax increase this year,” said Annis. “Our taxpayers deserved a break, but the mayor picked a tax increase instead.”

Annis said the $250 million in provincial funding would have covered police transition costs for up to 10 years.

“At the same time, the nearly $90 million set aside to pay severance to the SPS makes absolutely no sense, because the Surrey Police Service is here to stay and here to serve,” added Annis. “In fact, they will be our police of jurisdiction this November.”

Annis said she hopes last week’s court decision in favour of the transition will speed up the process and encourage the mayor to stop her stalling tactics.

“We’re in year six of the transition and the longer it drags on, the more it is costing our community,” noted Annis. “It’s costing our taxpayers because we are still paying for two police departments and Brenda Locke’s political ego.”

Annis said the police transition has “sidelined” every other important priority in the city.

“When you get your tax notice, remember the mayor had a choice, and she chose a tax increase that wasn’t necessary,” said Annis. “We’re going to be the biggest city in the province in just five years, and we need to get ready. We’ve got a lot to do, and that includes setting aside costly political games and egos.”