$200 parcel-tax increase prompts Surrey city councillors to quit committee in protest
VANCOUVER -- Two Surrey city councillors have quit a committee to protest a tax hike in the city's budget for the upcoming year.
Jack Hundial and Brenda Locke, who are both city councillors, say they're against a 200 per cent increase in the city's parcel tax. The tax is separate from the property tax, and will increase from $100 per property to $300.
Both Hundial and Locke stepped down from the Parcel Tax Review Committee in protest.
The tax is tied to a "parcel" of property and stays the same regardless of its value. The councillors say this means condo owners will have to a pay lot more each year relative to their home's value than those with million-dollar homes.
"We have people that have been laid off, people that are probably going to go back to work, businesses that are shut down, and people are really feeling the impact of all that," Hundial told CTV News Vancouver on Monday.
"Now's really not the time to not only be increasing taxes, but adding an additional 200 per cent on top of a levy and asking people to be happy about paying for it."
On Twitter, Locke said this was a "sad day for (Surrey) taxpayers," calling the tax "disproportionate."
Surrey council approved the 2021 budget Monday night, which also includes a 2.9 per cent increase in property taxes. Mayor Doug McCallum said he has "never seen a budget as good as this one."