aerial view of residential houses in Surrey with mountains in the background
February 18, 2023
Media Release

Surrey, B.C. – The City of Surrey’s 2023-2027 General Operating and Capital Budgets are now available for the public to view. More than half of the property tax increases for 2023 is to fund the costs associated with the police transition.

The 2023 Draft Operating Budget has been built without a decision on policing in Surrey, and the financial model is predicated on retaining the RCMP as the police of jurisdiction. While maintaining the RCMP will cost an estimated $235M less to operate over five years than the Surrey Police Service (SPS), there remains a shortfall of $116.6M created by the transition process. As a result, a proposed 9.5% General Property Tax increase to fund the 2023 Policing.

"It is now clear just how much this misguided experiment to change policing in Surrey is costing Surrey residents and businesses,” said Mayor Brenda Locke. “The money wasted by the policing transition, combined with the so-called 2.9% property tax rate for four years implemented by the previous Council, means we are now having to play catch up on core City services, such as the hiring of firefighters and bylaw officers. Surrey can ill afford to continue with the police transition and we are starting to set our finances straight with this budget.”

The property tax increases proposed in the 2023 General Operating Budget are as follows:

  • 9.5% General Property Tax increase to fund Policing Shortfall (approximately $219 for the average single-family home).
  • 7.0% General Property Tax increase (approximately $161 for the average single-family home) to fund:
    • General inflationary pressures
    • Hiring of additional 25 police officers, 20 firefighters and 10 bylaw officers for 2023
    • City Wide Operations (non-public safety)
  • 1.0% Roads and Traffic Levy. (approximately $23 for the average single-family home).

If the proposed increases are approved, the City’s portion of property taxes for the average assessed single family home in the City of Surrey would be $3,000, which would place Surrey in the middle for property taxes collected for the respective average assessed home in Metro Vancouver.

A public meeting of the Finance Committee will be held March 6 at 2pm to consider the 2023 Budget. The public can provide comment in person at the Finance Committee meeting or through written submissions. The deadline for written comments is noon on Friday, March 3, 2023.

The Draft 2023 Budgets and Five-Year Plan can be viewed here.