1. Big Tax Increases
The City of Surrey raised taxes to fund the new police service. Mayor and Council should be providing support for vulnerable citizens instead of funding this costly police transition.
- The Mayor and his team voted to increase property taxes on average 2.9% annually,
- This is in addition to tripling the property levy from $100 to $300 per homeowner which has collected millions of additional dollars from taxpayers to fund a new police service, from $17 million in 2020, to a forecasted $50.7 million in 2025.
2. Hidden and Unknown Costs
This is an expensive plan with future hidden and unknown costs for taxpayers. Mayor and Council did not conduct a feasibility study, and this transition can be halted until full costs are known and shared.
- The Mayor and his team voted to approve an increase in transition costs from $19 million to $64 million in 2020; with their recent 2022 budget showing another potential increase to $81 million.
- The City of Surrey benefits through millions in federal subsidies and provincial tax exemptions by having the Surrey RCMP as their police service. Each year these savings average $22 million, that will be lost by having a new police service. Over five years, that is $110 million in lost revenues for the City that will need to be made up by the taxpayer.
- Funds allocated for the police transition could better serve Surrey residents by investing in the Surrey RCMP and other vital services like pre-schools, community pools, youth programs, improved infrastructure, or addressing the opioid and housing crises.
3. Unpopular Plan
Surrey residents overwhelmingly do not support this unpopular plan. Multiple rounds of research have shown:
- 75% of residents support keeping the RCMP in Surrey with improvements such as increased policing resources.
- 82% of residents believe the transition should be halted until detailed costs are shared publicly
89% of Surrey residents have a favourable impression of RCMP Members.
- 90% female
- 88% male
- 87% South Asian
- 75% want to keep property taxes affordable.
4. Not a Done Deal
Despite what some may claim, this transition is not a done deal. The October 15 municipal election finally gives Surrey residents a say on the future of policing in your city.
- The specific timing of SPS potentially becoming the police of jurisdiction is dependent on decisions made by all three levels of government, which may affect the timing and expenditures.
- Given all the delays, the RCMP will likely remain in command for the next four-plus years and in Surrey for the next six-plus years; there is no plan or approval for change-of-command.
- For the foreseeable future, Surrey residents will be paying for two police services, paying exorbitant taxes, and losing other critical services and community programs at the expense of such a transition.
- Six rounds of research since 2020 have consistently shown that most Surrey residents do not support this.
- Only 17% of residents want to replace the RCMP.
- It would cost far less now to halt the transition.
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