Many local governments were formed because of the desire to deliver services that met the needs of residents in a specific geographic area. For example, the City of Langley was created to deliver urban services such as street lights.
In fact, BC has a long history of municipalities, regional districts, and improvement districts that provide a variety of local services that are responsive to the needs of the people that they serve. It should come a no surprise that people generally have a strong degree of support for the services that local governments provide.
As I posted about last week, the City of Langley released the results of its most recent Community Survey. One section of the survey looks at the value people get for the taxes they pay to the City of Langley, and how they feel about the services the City provides in return.
Over the past decade, the amount of people that say they get good value for the taxes they pay to the City has increased to 86%.
|Langley City residents' perception of the value they receive for the taxes they pay to the City. Select chart to enlarge.|
There are some people that run for local office because they want to “end the gravy train.” I can tell you that the City of Langley is a lean operation with no gravy to be found. When it comes to taxes, the vast majority of residents in the City of Langley want to maintain or enhance the services that the City provides, even if that means increasing taxes.
|City of Langley residents' support for increasing or cutting taxes, and the relationship to local government services. Select chart to enlarge.|
The City of Langley has a large amount of infrastructure (water, sewer, roads) that was installed in 1970s. Must of that infrastructure is coming to the end of its useful life. To maintain our current investment programs while also renewing this aging infrastructure would be impossible. Council wanted to know how people felt about an Infrastructure Levy to renew aging water and sewer lines, and roads. The majority of people support this idea.
|City of Langley residents' support for infrastructure renewal financing approaches. Select chart to enlarge.|
People support local governments and the services they provide because they can see the results on-the-ground of how their money in used, and the higher level of accountability and responsiveness to their needs.