Surrey city Councillor Brenda Locke presented a notice of motion to council Monday asking city staff to do a cost/benefit analysis on what Surrey taxpayers actually get for the tax money they pony up to Metro Vancouver.
“There has been a long-standing question and deep-seated concern that Surrey taxpayers are paying disproportionately in comparison to other Metro Vancouver cities,” she told the Now-Leader before the council meeting. “We’re getting to pay for it, but we’re not getting the parks, we’re not getting all the housing development that they’re doing in Vancouver and big changes to our water, sewer.”
Locke said her taxes went up 18.5 per cent this year. “It’s out of control,” she said. “It’s outrageous.”
Locke noted the 2021 tax notices brought a significant increase in taxes Surrey residents and businesses pay to to Metro Vancouver. She said there has been a “long-standing question and deep-seated concern that Surrey taxpayers are paying disproportionately” compared to other Metro-Vancouver cities.
“As Surrey continues to grow and is slated to become the largest city in British Columbia, it is important that we now start planning accordingly to ensure that our residents are receiving our fair share of resources, programs, and services for taxes rendered. It’s all about equity and fairness,” Locke said.
The city councillor noted that over recent years Metro Vancouver’s mandate has grown to embrace housing, cultural grants, regional parks, air-quality and climate change initiatives, and regional economic prosperity but associated costs are imposed “without direct taxpayer involvement.
“The thing is that we don’t get the benefits,” she said.
Council will vote on this at its June 28 meeting.