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Langford expected to increase property taxes by 11.79%

The tax increase would see the average homeowner pay about $279 more this year.

Langford property owners can expect an 11.79% increase on their taxes — the second year of a double-digit bump, but necessary to finance operations for a growing population, according to the city.

The tax increase would see the average homeowner pay about $279 more this year.

The city said in a statement on Friday the increase represents “significant” budget impacts, including the cost of public safety with the hiring of nine firefighters, three RCMP officers and three bylaw enforcement staff.

The tax increase will include the purchase of the YMCA aquatics facility, and cover asset management, internal borrowing and debt repayment, additional operating and maintenance costs, funding for municipal staff, and inflation.

While the proposed tax increase is again high this year, Langford’s municipal taxes are projected to remain among the lowest of all municipalities within the Capital Regional District, the city said.

The proposed budget has multiple capital projects, including completion of the Jordie Lunn Clubhouse, improvements at Porcher and Centennial parks and work on Irwin Road as well as bike lanes and sidewalks. It includes some city vehicle fleet replacements, land purchases, and culvert and creek work.

Langford’s five-year financial plan, reviewed at Thursday’s committee of the whole, revealed a proposed 11.19% increase next year, followed by jumps of 7.87%, 7.99% and 4.89% in the years that follow.

The city said in a statement previous councils’ policy decisions to keep taxes low by increasing the use of the general amenity funds would have a compounding effect on future budgets and presented significant challenges to its sustainability.

“While the financial viability of this practice is increasingly limited due to the compounding effect, the proposed financial plan continues this approach for 2024 by including a $1.7 million contribution from General Amenity Reserve to keep the tax increase as low as possible during another financially challenging budget year,” the statement said. “Reliance on the General Amenity Reserve Fund to pay for ongoing operations is projected to be reduced to a sustainable level over a five-year period.”

The public can weigh in on the budget at Tuesday’s council meeting and again on Feb. 20. Council will begin budget deliberations following public input on Feb. 20 and continue deliberations on Feb. 22 and March 4, if needed.

Council will consider three readings of the 2024-2028 financial plan bylaw and 2024 tax rates bylaw on April 16, and then consider adoption of both on May 6.

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