Langley Township council has begun debating next year's municipal budget. (Langley Advance Times files)

New taxes, levies, or cuts considered in next Langley Township budget

COVID-19 has put a strain on some areas of the budget

Langley Township council began its look at its 2021 budget recently, with the impact of COVID-19 a major consideration.

The preliminary numbers unveiled to the Township council on Nov. 30 show a need for almost 10 per cent of new revenue, taxes, or budget cuts could impact next year’s finances.

Township administrator Mark Bakken said there is a 9.94 per cent target to meet for the budget.

“That is a number that we have to raise, or reduce our expenses by,” Bakken said.

The Nov. 30 gathering of Township council saw discussion of property taxes, levies, provincial grants, and the financial impact of closed rec centres.

Bakken noted that the numbers are not firm yet.

“Many of the elements are moving targets,” he said.

But so far, the 9.94 per cent is based on expected increased costs, slower growth, and reduced recreation centre and pool revenue.

The Township is expected to see a $6 to $8 million reduction in parks and rec fees in 2021, based on projections of when widespread vaccination may bring an end to extra safety precautions around the pandemic.

Most municipalities are seeing their parks and rec revenues drop to about 25 to 33 per cent of normal this year, Bakken said.

Growth in population is expected to be about 1.53 per cent next year, down from the standard two per cent the Township budgets for, Bakken said.

There is some good news financially, as the Township has received a one-time “restart” grant administered by the province, totalling $7.6 million.

READ MORE: COVID money comes to Langley City and Township

Councillor Kim Richter asked about an annual contribution the Township makes to its capital funding – cash that goes towards building and maintaining roads and municipal buildings.

“Do we need to put the $8.8 [million] in, and what are other muncipalities doing in the Lower Mainland?” Richter asked. “Are they going ahead with their usual capital contribution, or are they pulling back on that because of the need to get operations up and running?”

Bakken said that is something the council could consider, but noted that there are more demands than ever on the Township for infrastructure.

“We’re seeing continued increased demand on some of our areas such as facilities and roads,” Bakken said.

Richter also asked about property tax revenue. There had been a serious concern in the spring of 2020 that a significant portion of local residents might default on their taxes, but that did not happen.

“We were I think extremely fortunate in 2020 to collect the very high proportion of property taxes that we collected,” Richter said. “Is that high proportion going to continue into 2021, or are we going to see more people in distressed situations that won’t be able to pay?”

Bakken said the residential property tax base looked solid, but there might be some reduction on the commercial, industrial, and institutional side of the tax ledger. It was too early yet to say for certain, he said.

Council will continue to consider the budget at its next special meeting on Monday, Dec. 14.

Langley Townshipmunicipal politics

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

Just Posted

Jessica Simpson speaking to Langley Township council as a delegate in 2019. (Township of Langley/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Health privacy breach claimed by controversial Langley woman

Jessica Simpson is suing Fraser Health over an alleged breach in her health info

Construction on the main foyer at the soon-to-be opened Clayton Community Centre. (Photo courtesy of HCMA Architecture + Design)
Clayton Community Centre opening delayed again

City says Provincial Health Order reason for latest delay

Aaliyah Rosa. (Black Press Media file photo)
Langley child murder trial delayed until spring

It will be three months before testimony resumes

Okay – who predicted that increased pet ownership would be a side effect of a pandemic? (LAPS/Special to Aldergrove Star)
Painful Truth: Predicting the post-COVID future is no easy task

Small changes are gathering steam, and no one saw all of them coming

The new FVRL Express Service was inaugurated during the pandemic. The system is seen here in Maple Ridge’s branch. (Special to Black Press Media)
FVRL not currently planning for fundraising foundation

The largest library system in B.C. has a dozen small volunteer groups instead

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Gov. Gen. Julie Payette takes the royal salute from the Guard of Honour as she makes her way deliver the the throne speech, Wednesday, September 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette resigns after searing report into workplace culture: reports

Payette, who is the Queen’s representative in Canada, has been the governor general since 2017

Grounded WestJet Boeing 737 Max aircraft are shown at the airline’s facilities in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, May 7, 2019. WestJet will operate the first commercial Boeing 737 Max flight in Canada today since the aircraft was grounded in 2019 following two deadly crashes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Passengers unfazed as WestJet returns Boeing 737 Max to service on Vancouver flight

After a lengthy review process, Transport Canada cleared the plane to return to Canadian airspace

The top part of the fossil burrow, seen from the side, with feathery lines from the disturbance of the soil – thought to be caused by the worm pulling prey into the burrow. (Paleoenvironntal Sediment Laboratory/National Taiwan University)
PHOTOS: SFU researchers find evidence of ‘giant’ predatory worms on ocean floor

Fossils found the prove the existence of an ancient Taiwanese worm as long as two metres

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

RCMP officers provide policing for 63 B.C. municipalities under a provincial formula based on population. (Black Press file photo)
B.C. communities warned of upcoming RCMP unionization costs

Starting salaries for city police officers are 30% higher

Brandon Nathan Teixeira, charged in connection with a fatal 2017 shooting in South Surrey, is to return to court Feb. 2, 2021. (File photos)
Pre-trial conference set for accused in 2017 South Surrey killing

Brandon Nathan Teixeira set to return to Vancouver court Feb. 2

B.C. nurse suspended after using Tensor bandage to trap long-term care patient in room

Susan Malloch voluntarily agreed to a three-day suspension of her certificate of registration

Abbotsford’s Skully White (left), who donated his kidney in December, has started a campaign to find other recipients and donors. The first candidate is retired police officer Gavin Quon. White owns and operates a hotdog stand, Lullys Food Experience, out of the Abbotsford Canadian Tire parking lot. (Facebook photo)
After donating his kidney, Abbotsford hotdog king starts donor campaign

Skully White donated his kidney to customer Tim Hiscock in December

Most Read