Surrey started out the gate with some significant numbers in 2017, and ended the year with more to boot.
In January Surrey homeowners learned their property values, on average, had gone up 34 to 50 per cent with the total value of B.C. real estate, at the beginning of 2017, hitting $1.67 trillion, an increase of more than 25 per cent from 2016.
Drive-by shootings continued to plague Surrey in 2017. Mounties responded to 59 shootings compared to 61 in 2016 and 88 in 2015.
And in November, Federal Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale was in Surrey to announce at the B.C. RCMP (E Division) headquarters on Green Timbers Way that the Canadian government will spend $327.6 million over five years – and $100 million every year after that – to fight gun violence and gang-related crime.
“Too many young people have been killed and too many communities have been marred by gun crime and gun violence,” Goodale said. “It doesn’t have to be this way.”
Meanwhile, 2017 was a bad year for traffic crashes. Seven pedestrians were killed and 11 seriously injured on Surrey’s streets. All told, there have been 19 traffic fatalities and 23 serious injuries in Surrey in 2017. In comparison, 10 pedestrians were killed in Surrey in 2016 and 20 were seriously injured. That year, Surrey recorded 14 fatalities and 29 people seriously hurt in crashes.
According to the BC Coroners Service, 117 people died of fentanyl-related drug overdoses in Surrey in 2017. In 2016 the number of deaths was 74, in 2015 there were 11 deaths and eight in 2014. In 2013, four people died from fentanyl overdosing in Surrey and three died in 2012.
As for some good news, the $15.7-million expansion of the “rebranded” Museum of Surrey got underway in August, with the new museum expected to open in September 2018. It will add 12,000 square feet to the current museum.
Surrey’s annual Vaisakhi Parade, in April, in Newton continued to break attendance records. Surrey RCMP were prepared for a crowd of half a million, an incredible number considering the 2016 census put Surrey’s population at 517,887. All told, more than 400,000 people attended the 19th Annual Vaisakhi Parade in 2017, shattering 2016’s record of 350,000 attendees.
As far as civic taxes go, 2017’s tax increase for the average Surrey household was $137, based on an assessed value of $720,400 for the average single family dwelling in this city. Within that hike, the property tax increase was $72, or 3.9 per cent.
In 2018 – hang on to your hats, gang – the average Surrey household can expect a $154.07 increase in taxes, with new city and Metro rates combined, based on an assessed value of $1,030,922 for an average single-family dwelling in this city.