This is in response to a Jan 21, Langley Advance article by M. Claxton on page A5, “CACs proposed to fund growth”.
I believe Councillor Michelle Sparrow is sincerely trying to do her job in representing the general taxpayer, however this proposal could use some understanding.
It’s a historical constant in most B.C. municipalities that growth costs the general taxpayer more than Development Cost Charges (DCCs) and other fees cover.
That in itself could be considered a relative level playfield.
Getting developers to pay for everything sounds like an easy solution but it is a deceptive inaccuracy.
1a) Developers are business people and like any business they add up all their cost… then tack on their profit.
The people who pay for it all are the end users, the people buying the products. In this case, housing mortgage holders.
1b) The more governments require developers to do, the harder it becomes for purchasers of houses, dwelling units, (think first-time buyers) to qualify for mortgages.
If they do save up enough down payment and get a mortgage, then those costs that the developer passed on to the homeowner get amortized (expanded/prolonged) as a bigger future burden to the mortgage holder.
In other words, collecting more charges/fees from developments does not mean the developer is paying for them.
2a) If you start more layers of complicated fees/charges etc. it has the effect of blurring the lines, a muddle of costs community to community within the Township.
It would make it more difficult to keep track of relative taxpayer growth costs per unit. Just trying to explain and understand all the charges becomes a complex challenge and adds more bureaucratic staff time costs.
2b) Is it fair to add growth costs to some new homeowners mortgages to pay for future policing, fire protection, rec improvements, libraries etc. when other low development or existing communities mortgage holders do not?
3) Conclusion/opinion… Keep it as simple as possible for everyone.
Municipalities can justify and increase their DCCs to reflect infrastructure effects imposed by developments.
The existing traditional methods of Development Cost Charges DCCs and fees are historically well established and should be adhered to.
Policing, fire protection, recreation should continue to be funded from the general taxes as it now is.
Roland Seguin, Fernridge