Surrey Business News

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


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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