Thursday, October 6, 2016

Value for Service - Property Tax in Langley City vs. Strata Fees, and the rest of the region.

No one likes paying bill. I don’t get much pleasure from paying my phone, Internet, or electric bill. Paying my mortgage or strata fees doesn’t put a smile on my face. I pay the bills because I do value having a roof over my head, lights, heating, hot water, and fast Internet access.

One of the things that I’m sure most people aren’t super thrilled about is getting their City of Langley property tax bill. The average household in Langley City pays around $2,000 per year in property tax and user fees to the City. Compared to the rest of the region, we have the lowest property tax and fees in the region on average. The following chart is from my friend Patrick Johnstone who is a Councillor in New Westminster.

Total residential taxes and user fees collected by Municipality per Household (BC Gov’t and Metro Vancouver data)

Langley City’s portion of property tax and fees pay for local roads, police protection, fire protection, community centres, public events, libraries, water service, sewer service, recycling, garbage collection, local parks, and planning services. It’s an overall great value.

I pay about $3,000 per year in strata fees, and I’m told I live in a building with low strata fees. What do I get for $3,000 per year? The building gets maintained, the lawn get mowed, and I get hot water. I get way more services from the City of Langley for less money paid!

So why am I bring all this up? One of the things that I’ve heard from residents in Langley City loud and clear is that we need to invest more in our infrastructure and in our community to maintain quality of life. Unfortunately, there are also some areas were the City has chronically under-invested in over the years. To get us on the right path will require a modest increase in property tax over and above regular inflationary pressures.

Later this year and into early next year, Council will be finalizing the 2017 budget. I will be doing my best to ensure that we are investing in our community because maintaining the quality of life, services, and infrastructure for people that call Langley City home is something that I believe is critically important.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I strongly support preserving the liveability and quality of life in Langley City as it seems to have degraded in the last few years with heavier traffic and noise than in some parts of the Vancouver downtown core . If a tax increase is necessary to improve and retain our neighborhoods and community of Langley City liveability and quality of life then I am all for it .