Timms Community Centre and Langley City Hall (Langley Advance Times files)

Timms Community Centre and Langley City Hall (Langley Advance Times files)

Langley Township, City see most residents pay property taxes

A feared COVID-related crash in tax payments has not materialized

The finances of Langley Township and City are looking a lot better than the worst-case scenarios sketched out a few months ago during the early stages of the pandemic.

In May, Langley Township forecast a possible $48 million shortfall in revenues, based on an estimate that just 75 per cent of property owners would pay their taxes by the July deadline.

But as of this week, the Township has determined that 85.5 per cent of property owners have paid their taxes already, including 92 per cent of residential property owners.

It appears to be “a normal year” for property taxes in the Township, noted Mayor Jack Froese.

This means things will be financially much simpler for the Township.

“It reduces our reliance on dipping into reserves, or borrowing,” Froese said.

If taxes hadn’t been paid, the Township would have run out of ready cash to pay for ongoing expenses sometime later in the year.

Langley City is in a similar state.

According to City staff, they have collected 82 per cent of their total property taxes, including 90 per cent of residential property taxes and 72 per cent of commercial property taxes.

“It’s fantastic that we have that, because we can keep our services going,” said Mayor Val van den Broek.

She noted that one of the reasons the level of payment is so high is that many City residents were already paying their taxes monthly through their banks.

The lower amounts paid for commercial property taxes in both City and Township do not mean that those taxes won’t get paid this year, either.

The provincial government mandated a two-month grace period for all non-residential property tax payments. Commercial and industrial landowners don’t have to pay their taxes until September, but a majority have still already paid in both City and Township.

For those who have not yet paid residential taxes, the penalties will be less if they can pay over the summer.

There is a 10 per cent penalty for non-payment of property taxes in B.C., but both City and Township modified its terms to reduce the first level of penalty.

In the City, half of the penalty was originally due after July 2, but that’s been reduced to two per cent. The remaining eight per cent is only due if the landowner misses an Oct. 1 deadline.

The 10 per cent late payment in the Township has been reduced to 1.75 per cent for those who missed July 2, and 8.25 per cent deferred to mid-November.

Both City and Township reduced their planned tax increases this year.

READ MORE: Langley city cuts taxes

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