Langley Township property tax increase drops by half in face of COVID-19

‘We do understand there’s hardship out there,’ Township Mayor Jack Froese expressed

Langley Township council unanimously approved a budget on Monday with a reduced tax increase of two per cent across the board, roughly half what had been proposed.

Mayor Jack Froese explained the reduction was accomplished by postponing some projects and internal borrowing.

Mayor and council recognized that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Township residents and business owners are to face a number of fiscal challenges.

Froese noted that the average annual tax increase “before this pandemic” was near 4.02 per cent.

“Taxes still had to rise a certain amount to cover higher mandatory costs such as police,” Froese told the Langley Advance Times.

As well, the penalty for later payment of taxes has been reduced from five per cent to 1.75 per cent if a payment isn’t made by July.

RELATED: More cops, higher business taxes under proposed Langley Township plan

Councillor Bob Long called it a “COVID-19 budget,” saying the Township had accidentally benefited from taking longer than most municipalities to approve a budget.

Coun. Kim Richter said “I’m really happy that we’re pulling the taxes back for everybody.”

Coun. David Davis said these are uncertain times and council has “got to do what we can do” to ease the burden for taxpayers.

Coun. Steve Ferguson said the Township had to “roll up its sleeves” and do whatever it could to ease the tax burden.

Coun. Blair Whitmarsh called it an “excellent move.”

READ MORE: Tax increase of 3.85 per cent coming for Langley Township property owners

Coun. Eric Woodward said the Township was one of the last municipalities in the region to approve a budget.

“What we can do, we must,” Woodward said.

(Update: Unanimous approval was given to the tax increase during an afternoon council meeting on Friday, March 27)

In January, council was informed by Township staff that the cost “to keep the lights on” would result in a 4.12 per cent tax increase.

Its increasing costs were driven by provincial taxes, and an increase in salary for unionized employees.

Last year, the Township passed a budget with a 3.85 per cent tax increase.

Previously, Township property owners saw increases of 2.47 per cent in 2018, 3.99 per cent in 2017, 3.93 per cent in 2016, and 3.69 per cent in 2015.

[Mayoral message for Township residents]

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Honda driver may be key witness to Langley crash: RCMP

Police are hoping to find the driver of what appears to be a grey Honda Civic

Cloverdale automobile shop offers to pick up, service, and drop off vehicles

Surrey’s Visscher-Pau Automotive starts ‘Blue Glove’ valet service, will cover Cloverdale, Langley, Newton, Fleetwood, and Hazelmere

Outbreak puts Langley woman’s kidney transplant on hold

It’s unknown when she’ll be able to receive a new kidney

VIDEO: Police watchdog recommends charges against off-duty officer involved in Langley crash

An off-duty officer was involved in a Langley crash last year that sent a motorcyclist to hospital

As 240K apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Introverted and extroverted kids likely to react differently to COVID-19 restrictions

B.C. child psychologist says your parenting approach can’t be one-size fits all in social isolation

B.C. begins taking submissions for $2M COVID-19 research fund

Rural health, impact of shifting hospital resources among priorities

Wearing non-medical masks can stop spread of COVID-19 before symptoms start: Tam

Health officials had previously not recommended wearing them

Easter Bunny not a COVID-19 carrier, allowed to do drop offs

World Health Organization grants permission to Bunny as he cannot transfer the virus

COVID-19 world update: 1,000 cases hit U.S. military; Good news in Spain, Portugal

Comprehensive collection of coronavirus news from around the world

Most Read