Our View: Mad about taxes? Watch the budget!

It’s municipal budget season – get to know your town’s budget before it bites you.

It’s budget season again in the Langleys!

We know, the words “budget” conjure images of spreadsheets with long columns of numbers. Not exactly subject matter to set the heart racing.

But every year, Langley City and Township councils debate their budgets, item by item. Those debates are translated into the property tax rates that will affect every homeowner and landowner in the community.

And yet, every year, very few people attend the budget open houses, or drop in on the discussion meetings which are open to the public.

There is, however, a lot of complaining.

It’s no crime to complain about taxes, especially if they’re going up. Paying an extra few dollars (or few hundred dollars, depending on the value of your property) can add up. There are plenty of folks in Langley for whom it can be a bit of a squeeze, particularly retirees not yet ready to downsize, living in their home on a fixed retirement income.

But we don’t understand how this translates into the very, very low interest in the actual budget.

If you complain about your taxes this year, please take a moment to check out the process that leads up to them.

Visit one of the open houses, if you can. Check out the info that will be posted on the municipal websites. Phone or email your councillor – they’re very approachable!

Understanding the budget can help you know why your taxes might be changing – and help you lobby more effectively for any changes you want to see.

– M.C.

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