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Langley City Council takes Tax Relief Measures to Ease Financial Pressures on Taxpayers

Date

For Immediate Release

Langley City, BC – Langley City Council has heard from our community and recognizes the current economic challenges for our residents, property and business owners due to the rapidly changing environment of the global COVID-19 pandemic. In response, Langley City Council instructed staff to bring back the adopted 2020-2024 Financial Plan for reconsideration.

Langley City Council was presented with several financial relief measures to ensure business continuity and to ease the financial pressures on taxpayers during these challenging times and has proposed an amended 2020-2024 Financial Plan. The overall property tax increase of 6.67% has been adjusted to 1.83%, and Business Class properties and Light Industrial Class properties have been modified from 7% to average increase of 2.01% and 2.14%, respectively. In addition, the Province has significantly reduced the school tax portion of the property tax bill for the Business Class, Light Industrial and Non-Profit Class properties further reducing the overall tax increase for these property types. 

The City of Langley was able to accomplish this by reducing the tax increase to bridge the funding gap from $1.95 million to $536,000 by taking numerous substantial measures, including:

  • Deferring the borrowing of $10 million in 2020 as part of the Nexus of Community Plan to 2021, which will eliminate the debt servicing costs of $827,665 or 2.83%. 
  • Postponing several new staffing positions until future years, a reduction of $120,855 or 0.42%.
  • Reducing the contribution to the Capital Works Reserve for infrastructure renewal from $100,000 to $50,000, a reduction of $50,000 or 0.17%. 
  • Increasing new building permit revenue projections by $400,000 or 1.37%.  This revenue projection may not be sustainable in future years and will be reassessed for 2021.

“As the current pandemic has presented new and unique challenges for all of us, our Council has worked hard to take measures to provide immediate relief to our residents, businesses, and community partners as we get through this difficult time,” said Mayor Val van den Broek. “Like all municipalities, the City’s operations, services, and revenues have been impacted by COVID-19. Although we are unable to determine the long-term financial impact of the crisis, due to sound financial management policies, the City will continue to provide essential services for our residents.”

Municipal governments are required under the Provincial Community Charter to adopt a balanced budget and cannot use debt to pay for operating expenditures like the provincial and federal governments. Property taxes are collected halfway through the year and provide the City with the cash flow to ensure the City can provide essential services such as water, sewer, roads, fire and police.  As well, the City has to pay other taxing authorities like TransLink, Metro Vancouver and the BC Assessment Authority on time.  Therefore, City Council will maintain the July 2, 2020 property tax payment deadline.

The property tax penalty for residential property owners was previously 5% after the July 2 tax due date and a further 5% after August 2. In 2020, the penalty will be reduced to 2% after the July 2 tax due date, and the second penalty date will be extended to October 1 at 8%. The Province has mandated that the Business, Light Industrial and Non-profit classed properties will have one penalty date of October 1 at 10%. 

Langley City Council believes that the reduction in the property tax rate will help ease the financial burden for all taxpayers in the community during the current challenging and unprecedented time. We will endeavour to work tirelessly with senior levels of government and all sectors of our community for a fast economic recovery.    

For more detailed information on the amended 2020-2024 Financial Plan, including the utility rate increases, the average changes in 2020, and the Capital Improvement Plan impacts due to the closure of Cascades Casino, please visit langleycity.ca.

For more information about the amended 2020-2024 Financial Plan, please contact Darrin Leite, Director of Corporate Services at 604.514.2806 or dleite@langleycity.ca.

Stay Connected with Langley City

Langley City encourages all residents to visit langleycity.ca/COVID-19 regularly for the most up-to-date information on the City’s response to the pandemic, along with links to websites with important COVID-19 information. Langleycity.ca is your best source for updates, service interruptions, and other useful information. We encourage you to connect with us on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube, as well as our opt-in email notification service to receive City news and updates, including the monthly newsletter. Residents can also call our automated COVID-19 phone line at 604.514.2848 or email info@langleycity.ca.

Media Inquiries:

Samantha Paulson
Communications Officer
City of Langley
604.514.2823
spaulson@langleycity.ca