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Once a taxpayer reads their tax notice, they know the mayor’s seven per cent increase is just the start: Councillor Linda Annis

Surrey, B.C. (June 5, 2024): Surrey First Councillor Linda Annis says the claim by Mayor Brenda Locke that Surrey’s 2024 tax increase is seven per cent isn’t worth the tax notice it’s printed on.

“Anyone who looks at the property tax notice they’ve just received, and compares it to last year’s bill, will see that their increase this year is closer to 12 per cent, which is a far cry from the seven per cent announced by the mayor,” noted Annis. “We went through the same thing with Doug McCallum who boasted about low taxes, but didn’t mention other costs such as an arbitrary increase in the parcel tax, which resulted in overall double digit tax increases. It’s no wonder taxpayers are jaded and cynical, particularly when they can’t get a straight answer from their mayor, but can easily compare last year’s notice to this year’s and see the truth.”

Annis said there would have been no need for a property tax increase this year if Brenda Locke had accepted the province’s $250 million towards police transition costs, and stopped sitting on nearly $90 million in severance for the Surrey Police Service.

“The provincial government and the court have said the Surrey Police Service is here to stay, so we don’t need to be holding nearly $90 million in unnecessary severance,” added Annis. “When it comes to city budgets and tax increases here in Surrey, we definitely need way more transparency and public accountability. We didn’t have it under Doug McCallum and we definitely don’t have it under Brenda Locke. All you have to do is look at the actual increase on your tax notice and you’ll see how much more this year costs compared to 2023.”

Annis said “lowballing property tax increases” is an insult to taxpayers because everyone can see the “true increase” and the fact that their taxes are going up far more than seven per cent.

“When the mayor spins the numbers, it makes it harder and harder for taxpayers to take anything coming out of their city hall seriously,” said Annis. “Like any responsible adult, our Surrey taxpayers want the straight goods, not numbers covered in political fingerprints.”