The Surrey Board of Trade and Surrey First Councillor Linda Annis have slammed the City of Surrey for delaying City’s 2022 BUDGET. While Anita Huberman, President & CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade called it “unacceptable”, Annis called it, “sloppy technicality”.
“It is the 2nd week of December and never before has the City of Surrey Budget release been so late,” saidHuberman. “Businesses bear the weight of the tax burden and need to be able to plan ahead for tax payments. Further, businesses need the advanced ability to review the budget documents to provide input, as is their right as taxpayers.”
The City Budget is important to taxpayers to ensure that investments for Surrey’s business community focus on the local economy, today and in the future. “The Surrey Board of Trade wants a safe, affordable, vibrant, interconnected, and inclusive city that fosters innovation while ensuring Surrey’s tax rates support and encourage business growth, retention and infrastructure investments,” Huberman said.
“Class 4, 5, 6 have faced increases as high as 150% these past three years. This is unacceptable and unsustainable. There is no room for delays, given cash flow challenges resulting from the pandemic. We need a tax climate conducive to the success and sustainability of businesses. Over the years, all levels of governments have put significant tax burdens on business. This is a critical issue and one which we, as the voice of business in Surrey, will continue to draw attention to. The City needs to be accountable to the taxpayers by providing a reason why there is an unprecedented delay in the release of the budget”, said Huberman.
“Our city’s 2022 budget is now a month late and has yet to be presented to councillors and the community, which means city hall will head into the new year without an approved budget,” noted Annis. “The statement from the city that the budget isn’t due until May of next year is ridiculous and nothing more than a convenient loophole the mayor is using to keep things from the community. There is no excuse for not meeting the traditional and best practice deadlines council follows each year.