On Monday night’s virtual council meeting councillor Linda Annis put forward a notice of motion to defer Surrey property taxes until December 2nd to help people struggling through the COVID-19 pandemic.
It was rejected by Mayor Doug McCallum on the spot.
“He said he was already working on something similar with the province which I found quite odd, only from the standpoint that we’ve suffered a lot from transparency at City Hall. I was not aware he was doing this nor was any of the council members,” says Annis.
Annis says McCallum provided zero detail on his supposed agreement with the province.
Adding flame to the fire she says he also flat out told her the city can’t defer propery taxes on its own.
She argues it is possible and has done the research to back it up.
“It is within the City Charter for us to be able to do it. City council just needs to pass a bylaw allowing them to change when property taxes are due, which is what the City of Kelowna recently did, deferring their property taxes for residents and business owners until September 1st 2020.”
Annis says next year’s budget is going to be challenging no matter what and that the people of Surrey need help here and now.
“We’ve had to close a lot of our revenue streams, things like rec centres, ice arenas, pools. We’re in challenging times and we’re all in it together. We need to take a leadership at City Hall and help our residents, help our businesses.”
Property taxes are currently due on July 2, with notices going out at the end of May.