Affordability not considered

Editor:

Re: Surrey property taxes expected to rise $90, Dec. 22

I hope the B.C. municipal auditor arrives soon to explain Surrey’s budget.

Editor:

Re: Surrey property taxes expected to rise $90, Dec. 22

I hope the B.C. municipal auditor arrives soon to explain Surrey’s budget.

The inflation rate is 1.5 per cent but taxes are going up four per cent compounded. During this recession our spending and debt increased.

We now have a $53-million loan to pay for a world class city hall and library, possibly rising to $95 million if things don’t work out.

There is an unfunded – i.e. no money set aside – liability of $1,024 million for guaranteed employee pensions. Surrey also contributes $11.8 million annually toward the employees’ pension plan, and future employee benefits of all sorts cost another $18.6 million a year. The separate road levy is not itemized, so we don’t know what we got for it.

Additional taxation will be added by the GVRD. Its 2011 average was 9.2 per cent, but next year will be higher. TransLink is another tax hole. My estimate is total property taxes may be near 10 per cent.

The budget says it focuses on three pillars of sustainability, but none is taxpayer affordability.

Simply put, Surrey is slowly working its way into bankruptcy and ignoring what has happened to whole countries and many U.S. states. They, too, had a spend-now, pay-later policy.

J. Edwards, Surrey