Surrey Business News

Sur­rey Board of Trade Calls for City of Sur­rey Class 4 Tax Re­view

- Business · Tax Credit · Taxes · Property Tax · Surrey · British Columbia

The City of Sur­rey ap­proved a 2020 bud­get that sub­stan­tially in­creased the prop­erty taxes paid by all Class 4 ma­jor in­dus­trial busi­nesses.

“Sur­rey has the great­est num­ber of man­u­fac­tur­ers in BC,” said Anita Hu­ber­man, CEO, Sur­rey Board of Trade, “but these in­sur­mount­able tax in­creases on top of the PRE-COVID-19 and dur­ing COVID-19 in­duced eco­nomic slow­down has the po­ten­tial to push these busi­nesses out of Sur­rey, com­pro­mis­ing Sur­rey’s growth and eco­nomic pros­per­ity. The City of Sur­rey has a lead­er­ship op­por­tu­nity for their fis­cal 2021 bud­get to en­hance our as­sets and as­sist in job cre­ation, not tax in­creases.”

Sur­rey Mayor and Coun­cil’s 2020 Fi­nan­cial Plan, pre­sented in De­cem­ber 2019, set out an­nual res­i­den­tial prop­erty taxes would only in­crease by 2.9% for the av­er­age sin­gle-fam­ily dwelling, as a cost of liv­ing in­crease, and some busi­nesses could face a prop­erty tax in­crease of 5.5%. Aris­ing from our re­view of the 2020 Plan, the Sur­rey Board of Trade wrote to Coun­cil in De­cem­ber 2019, iden­ti­fy­ing two classes of busi­nesses that would be fac­ing a sig­nif­i­cant, un­ex­pected tax in­creases: Ma­jor In­dus­try (Class 4) – to $24.00 per $1,000 as­sess­ment – up from $9.41 per $1,000; and Busi­ness (Class 6) prop­erty tax in­crease of 5.5% (2.9% in­crease + 2.6%). These two sig­nif­i­cant 2020 tax in­creases were not an ac­cept­able in­crease in one year. There was no con­sul­ta­tion on pro­posed tax rates with the busi­ness com­mu­nity lead­ing up to the 2020 Fi­nan­cial Plan or fol­low­ing our let­ter to Coun­cil. The 2020 tax in­crease is un­fairly weighted against Sur­rey’s man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor. One lo­cal man­u­fac­tur­ing busi­ness ex­pe­ri­enced an in­crease of 155% in their year over year com­par­ing 2019 prop­erty tax to 2020.

“The Sur­rey Board of Trade urges the City to re­con­sider the Class 4 tax in­crease on ma­jor in­dus­try. A 155% tax in­crease is un­fairly puni­tive dur­ing the best of times and con­sid­er­ing the im­pact COVID 19 has had on busi­nesses this year, cre­ates a heavy bur­den for the lo­cal busi­ness com­mu­nity to shoul­der. We there­fore ask the City to re­duce the Class 4 tax in­crease.”

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