The 2013 draft budget may increase taxes for Surrey residents by $100 per year if approved by council in December.
The City of Surrey's 2013 draft budget notes that increases to drainage and sewer fees, water charges, plus the one per cent road levy and the 2.9 per cent general tax increase would add up to $98.36 per household annually.
Coun. Tom Gill, who is also the chair of the city's finance committee, is confident the budget will pass and said the city has worked hard to deliver a balanced financial plan.
"Surrey prides itself as one of the few municipalities in Canada that has absolutely no debt," he said, adding that the city has the lowest residential taxes of any municipality in the Lower Mainland.
"That being said, I think we've been very financially prudent."
As well, Surrey residents with secondary suites could pay an additional $148 per year on their suite service fee, which currently sits at $247.
"As we went through the process of legalizing some of the suites," said Gill, "we realized that many people that were originally
against secondary suites were against it because they felt that secondary suites were not paying their fair share of costs."
The service fee increase is expected to bump up the annual revenue generated by the fee to $10 million from $7 million.
Gill said the city will not increase garbage fees as the new program has proven to be rather affordable.
"The new program has been pretty much cost-neutral, so we did find some efficiencies in terms of transition," he said.
The city also plans to invest an estimated $42 million in numerous capital projects, including repairs to Newton Athletic Park, a Cloverdale youth park and a multipurpose space in Fleetwood. The bulk of the money will go toward budgeting Guildford Pool
and Grandview Pool, which will receive $16 million and $20 million, respectively.
"These are significant investments," said Gill. "These are the kind of amenities that our community is so badly wanting and needing."
The finance committee is currently finalizing the details of the budget and hopes to have the draft reports ready for Nov. 16. The budget is set to go before council on Dec. 10. firstname.lastname@example.org
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