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Township approves tax hikes

Langley Township council has approved a 2014 budget that will bring the average homeowner’s annual bill to $2,700.

It calls for $83 in increases to taxes and user fees for the average single-family homeowner.

The general tax increase is 2.59 per cent, which Mayor Jack Froese says is the lowest increase in years.

Councillor Kim Richter cast the only vote against the budget Monday, saying the fee hikes exceed the current inflation rate.

“A lot of people did not get pay increases this year,” Richter said.

Council also voted to make road improvements in Brookswood in the area east of 200 Street between 40 Avenue and 40A Avenue a priority.

A pre-budget questionnaire showed more than half those who responded supported doing the work, while a quarter of those were opposed.

The Brookswood Merchants Association (BMA) has been pushing for improvements since May of 2010.

Other questions found support for hiring more firefighters, installing traffic calming measures and putting a crosswalk in at 216 Street and 88B Avenue, which is used by children at three schools, École des Voyageurs, Topham Elementary and James Kennedy Elementary.

No decision on funding any of the items on the questionnaire will be made until the 2015 budget is prepared.

A staff report on the 2014 budget breaks down the impact of the proposed tax increase at $3.32 per month or 11 cents per day and the higher user pay fees at $3.58 per month or 12 cents per day.

Township residents will be paying roughly the same amount as Surrey residents do,  slightly more than Langley City residents, slightly less than Abbotsford, about two-thirds of the Richmond, New Westminster and Burnaby rates and around half the Vancouver rate.

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