Surrey city council approved on Monday a staff recommendation to hike water, sewer, drainage and solid waste utility rates in 2023.
A corporate report by Surrey’s general manager of finance Kam Grewal and city manager Vincent Lalonde urged the city’s finance committee to approve the rate “adjustments” in preparation of Surrey’s 2023 Five-Year (2023-2027) Financial Plan. It came before the finance committee on Monday afternoon and 12 related bylaws received third-reading approval by council Monday evening.
The finance committee, comprised of all members of council, approved the recommendations without debate.
Fleetwood resident Richard Landale noted to council the hikes alone will increase property taxes to 4.71 per cent for the average homeowner.
“So the average homeowner, 66 per cent of us, are paying 4.71 per cent,” he said. “You can limit the percentage increase.”
By limiting the increases to 2.9 per cent “across the board,” he said, homeowners would collectively save $22,779,375.
“That’s what you would give 66 per cent of the residents, by limiting the increase to 2.9 per cent,” he said.
“The public – me – and the gallery,” he chuckled – pointing back at rows of empty seats behind him, inside council chambers – “we have absolutely no idea what it’s going to cost us.”
Landale was the only speaker to address the finance committee.
At the regular council meeting Monday night, council again approved the rate increases without debate.