I am thoroughly appalled that the tax assessed on my property for 2022 has been increased by 18.3 per cent [$813.97] over 2021!
One is accustomed to taxes being increased proportionate to the annual inflation rate, but this increase amounts to three times the current [six per cent] rate of inflation which, in my opinion, is excessive in the extreme.
Let us not forget the massive tax revenues the Township now garners from developments in Willoughby – and elsewhere in Langley – where once single properties have now been subdivided into multiple tax generating units. What a windfall for the municipality.
Of course, the cost of widening the roads, laying of sidewalks, installation of street lighting, sewage and electrical infrastructure etc. in these subdivisions, is not borne by the municipality, but by the developers.
Langley Taxation Office may direct one’s attention to the Township’s acquisition of two new fire trucks; additional fire department staffing; extra policing and road improvements, etc. However, the cost of these procurements and services are a “small bag of potatoes” and – it seems – cannot amount to anywhere near the exorbitant tax revenues being extracted from property owners this year.
Some have suggested that because property values have increased, an increase in property tax should be expected. This is ridiculous – one has no bearing on the other. The only purpose property values serve is to ensure that everyone pays their fair share of taxes. An owner of a $2,000,000 mansion would, unsurprisingly, pay much more property tax than his neighbour living in a $600,000 home. Neither should be taxed according to a sudden increase in their property value, but according to the municipality’s needs. Using this argument: one could reason – given the present state of the car market – that because one’s car has increased in value the licence fee should be increased proportionately.
Municipalities are not profit-generating corporations. Rather, they are institutions entrusted by the taxpayers to provide all the amenities they need and to do so responsibly, prudently and as economically as possible. It’s expected that municipalities set their mil rates according to their budgetary requirements – not according to property values which are in constant flux.
Perhaps the Township of Langley would like to explain why property taxes in Langley City appear to be so much less.
James Conway, Walnut Grove
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