Surrey councillors Jack Hundial and Brenda Locke. (Photos: Now-Leader files)

Surrey councillors Jack Hundial and Brenda Locke. (Photos: Now-Leader files)

Locke, Hundial, quit city committee in protest against Surrey parcel tax increase

Surrey Connect councillors say 200 per cent tax increase defies ‘spirit and intent’ of levy

Two Surrey city councillors say they’ve stepped down from the Parcel Tax Review Committee in protest against a 200 per cent increase in the 2021 budget capital levy.

Councillors Brenda Locke and Jack Hundial, both of the Surrey Connect slate, issued a press release Monday saying the increase defies the “spirit and intent” of the levy.

“It is unfair and punitive during this time of financial insecurity,” Locke said. “It hurts everyone, especially those who can least afford it – seniors, single parents and families in modest housing will feel the brunt of this tax.”

READ ALSO: Surrey mayor, councillor, a canyon apart on proposed tax hike

Budget 2021 will be up for approval tonight during council’s virtual meeting. A public hearing was conducted last Monday, before the finance committee, after which the Safe Surrey Coalition members approved corporate reports related to the budget on a five to four vote.

During the public hearing callers slammed the capital parcel tax increase, which currently sits at $100 per parcel but under the budget will increase to $300.

“Are you guys aware that’s an increase of 200 per cent?” Whalley resident Dave Amero asked. “Not 10, not 20, not 30 – how about us pensioners?”

Former Surrey mayor Bob Bose called the $300 capital parcel tax “obscenely regressive.”

Mayor Doug McCallum, however, sang the budget’s praises.

“This, for the times, for where we’re sitting right now, for the times, it’s the best budget I’ve ever seen, put together by anybody,” he remarked. “It is historic, and it will go down in the records, over the next few years, as an historic budget, especially with all the problems that are out there.”

READ ALSO: Surrey mayor taking in on the chin during budget public hearing

Meantime, Surrey Connect says that with the addition of this levy the tax increase on an average single family house will be 11.25 per cent and for an average townhouse, 14 per cent.

Hundial said these increases are designed to “shore up” funding for replacing the Surrey RCMP with the Surrey Police Service, “for which a final cost is yet to be determined and the majority of Surreyites still do not want.

“These are unprecedented times and there is only one taxpayer to support spending for all levels of government,” Hundial said.

Meantime, a group of “angry women taxpayers” is set to deliver 200 parcel tacks to city hall this afternoon (Monday, Dec. 7), in a gesture of protest against the property parcel tax. Organizer Annie Kaps noted in a press release that a resident living in a studio apartment with a murphy bed, and a small business owner, will under the levy pay the same $200 parcel tax increase as an owner of a “mega-house” with multiple families or a large business, like Costco on King George Boulevard.



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Tom on Twitter

City of Surrey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Through his lens, Doug Cook captured this picture of the Fraser River, Mount Baker, an eagle, and even the Golden Ears Bridge on a sunny fall afternoon. The photo was taken from the wooden walkway leading down to the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport float plane dock. (Contributed photo)
Friends of Semiahmoo Bay to host virtual World Wetland Day event

Webinar event to feature six speakers, to be held Feb. 2

One of the Choices Lottery grand prize packages includes a home located at 16730 19 Ave., Surrey. (Contributed photo)
Two South Surrey homes featured in Choices Lottery

Tickets on sale now for BC Children’s Hospital lottery

Sources team members (left to right) Carrie Belanger, Abby Gemino, Tatiana Belyaeva, Yasmin de Joya-Pagal cheer during the 2020 Coldest Night of the Year event. This year’s event will be virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Sources photo)
White Rock’s Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser goes virtual

Annual walk raises funds for variety of Sources programs and services

An Amica White Rock resident receives the COVID-19 vaccine during a Jan. 15, 2021 clinic. (Tracy Holmes photo)
PHOTOS: South Surrey seniors grateful for ‘freedom’ of COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccination clinics at Fraser Health long-term and assisted-living sites were to wrap up Jan. 15

Fraser Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at a Surrey high-intensity rehabilitation unit, Laurel Place. On Dec. 22, 2020, Fraser Health said four patients and two staff members have tested positive for the virus. (Image: Google Street View)
Fraser Health says COVID-19 outbreak over at Laurel Place in Surrey

Health authority declared outbreak over Jan. 16

An animated Gordie Hogg introduces his 'Community Connections' videos. (YouTube screenshot)
Community Connections: Gordie Hogg speaks with Scott Ackles

Former mayor, MP began posting conversations on YouTube in June

Williams Lake physician Dr. Ivan Scrooby and medical graduate student Vionarica Gusti hold up the COSMIC Bubble Helmet. Both are part of the non-profit organization COSMIC Medical which has come together to develop devices for treating patients with COVID-19. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Group of B.C. doctors, engineers developing ‘bubble helmet’ for COVID-19 patients

The helmet could support several patients at once, says the group

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Most Read