Surrey mayor candidate Doug McCallum

Surrey mayor candidate Doug McCallum

Election 2014: Safe Surrey Coalition unveils platform

City of Surrey: McCallum calling for two-year freeze on property taxes

Former Surrey mayor Doug McCallum says he’s going to freeze property taxes for two years if elected mayor, while cutting the city’s operating budget by three per cent.

Those are just two of the highlights in an eight-point strategy heading into the fall election.

The Safe Surrey Coalition unveiled its platform Tuesday, which it called “fiscally responsible simple government.”

The coalition says it was responding to calls from Surrey residents that they want good service for their tax dollars.

“Years of out-of-control spending, waste and involvement in speculative business ventures have moved the city away from meeting the needs of Surrey residents,” McCallum said in a news release Tuesday. “This plan puts the taxpayer first, both in terms of allowing the city to address pressing issues and priorities, and by having greater respect for taxpayer dollars.”

The eight Safe Surrey Coalition proposals are:

1.    Freeze taxes for two years;

2.    Reverse growing debt tthrough an aggressive repayment plan;

3.    Shut down Tthe Surrey City Development Corporation;

4.    Eliminate plans to build a district energy heating system;

5.    Cut the City of Surrey operating budget by three percent;

6.    Establish fixed cost public tenders

7.    Discontinue the Surrey Regional Economic Summit;

8.    Reprioritize and increase funding for the Parks, Recreation And Culture Strategic Plan

A change in philosophy and subsequent direction is an immediate step that must be taken to put Surrey back on track, added McCallum.

It was under McCallum’s previous leadership that there was a nine-year freeze on property taxes. But many critics have said that hold on tax increases put the city in a shortage of services.

The civic election will be held on Nov. 15.