Editorial — Tax increase was inevitable in Langley Township

Langley Township council seems poised to adopt a tax increase of about three per cent for 2014. On top of user fee increases of three to six per cent for garbage, sewer and water services, this would mean the average taxpayer would pay about $2,700 to the Township in 2014. This figure does not include school taxes or other property taxes paid to Metro Vancouver or TransLink.

While it would be nice to see a tax freeze or a very modest one to two per cent increase, realistically that seems unlikely in the near future. As the Township keeps growing, new residents in particular demand more services. They are not content with the status quo.

They want improvements to roads, new recreation facilities, and more police and fire services. In short, they want more urban services — services that many long-time Township residents, particularly in rural areas, see little need for.

The Township is set to almost double its population in the next 25 years. This will happen as a result of increased densities in Willoughby, where much undeveloped land remains, as well as urbanization of Brookswood and Fernridge. There will be a huge demand for more services with another 100,000 people here by 2040.

While some might suggest that the Township should sharply limit growth, that  can’t happen in a society where a free market exists. People are free to move to areas where they want to live. There is plenty of land in Langley available for urban development.

Those coming here want urban services.

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