City of Surrey launches budget engagement

THE City of Surrey is launching budget engagement to seek feedback ahead of the 2023 budget process to hear the community’s priorities and what’s important to them. Feedback collected from upcoming open houses and an online survey will be used to help inform and prepare a draft budget for review by the Finance Committee prior to Council’s adoption of the budget.

Surrey Mayor Brenda Locke said that in preparing for the 2023 budget, Council must carefully consider new directions emerging out of City strategies and community priorities for funding City services, facilities and infrastructure. There are also a number of economic challenges and influencing factors that must be considered, along with the desire to keep property taxes and fees at a manageable level for residents and business owners.

Locke said: “Our budget process is still underway and no decisions have been finalized yet, including required tax increases needed to balance the budget. The extent of tax increases within the draft budget will be based on the Province’s decision [about police of jurisdiction in Surrey] as well as other external factors like inflation and economic impacts, as well as community engagement findings.”

The open houses and survey aim to inform the public on the budget process, ask what priorities are most important to them, and ask what funding options they most support in order to create a balanced budget.  Community members are invited to attend any of four upcoming open houses:

* Saturday, January 14 at Guildford Recreation Centre from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
* Tuesday, January 17 at South Surrey Recreation Centre from 4 p.m.-7 p.m.
* Thursday, January 19 at Newton Recreation Centre from 4 p.m.-7 p.m.
* Saturday, January 21 at North Surrey Sport & Ice Complex from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

The engagement sessions and survey input focus on the general operating and capital program component of the 2023 Five-Year (2023–2027) Financial Plan. The third budget component, which addresses utilities and other self-funded programs proceeds directly to the Finance Committee for review and subsequent public hearing, and ultimately, Council consideration and adoption.

Learn more about the budget process and take the online survey at surrey.ca/budget2023.

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