In two years, Langley City businessman Loyd Fowler’s tax bill has gone from $9,000 to $12,000. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

In two years, Langley City businessman Loyd Fowler’s tax bill has gone from $9,000 to $12,000. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

City tax hike ‘crazy,’ automotive shop owner says

In two years, Loyd Fowler’s bill went from $9,000 to $12,000

Two years ago, Loyd Fowler paid $9,000 in property taxes, $4,500 for each bay of his automotive repair business in Langley City.

This year, his bill will be $6,000 each or $12,000, a hike of more than 16 per cent a year, and well above the average five per cent cent property tax increase reported by the City in its 2021 financial plan.

“It’s crazy,” Fowler told the Langley Advance Times.

“It was like, whoa. Holy cow.”

Darrin Leite, Langley City director of corporate services, explained municipal taxes are based on the assessed value of a particular class of property, as decided by the B.C. Assessment Authority.

“We can only apply a tax rate to the class, not the individual property,”Leite said.

City records show Fowler’s business, A-Pro Automotive Services, at #104, 5968 205A St., a Class 6 business property, saw its assessed value go up 20.2 per cent, more than the average of 3.9 per cent for other properties in the same category, including a property next to Fowler’s business, which went up 10.8 per cent.  

Fowler isn’t sure why, but he suspects it may have something to do with the generally hot real estate market, combined with a shortage of available industrial properties.

READ ALSO: Hot B.C. housing market drives property transfer tax gains

Total value of his two units is now $468,600 and $459,600.

Fowler said it wasn’t clear the assessment hike would translate to higher taxes, based on his experience with residential taxes, where properties can jump in value without an equally big tax hike.

Based on that, he didn’t appeal the valuation to the BC assessment authority by the Feb. 1 deadline.

Next year, Fowler said he will appeal.

Fowler said he personally knows some other small businesses in the City are in the same situation.

“I truly believe that taxes should not be based on asset value when it comes to property tax anyway,” Fowler said.

“It should be based on a percentage increase, equally across the board,” Fowler suggested.

“Maybe they should do the increase of five per cent across the board, see how much money they have, then make a budget. I know my house value goes up too, but the increases are not like this.”

READ ALSO: Langley City asks for input on proposed property tax hike

Langley City has seen revenue take a hit during the pandemic, including the closure of Cascades Casino, which shares 10 per cent of its profits, around $7 million a year.

In response, funding for the Nexus of Community Plan, which plans to purchase land to prepare for the arrival of the SkyTrain, has been scaled back to $7.5 million, rather than the full $50 million originally approved by council.


Is there more to the story? Email: dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

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