Column: ‘Adulting’ is not all it’s cracked up to be

Sometimes “adulting” stinks.

It’s property tax season again — that special time of year when struggling homeowners have to magically come up with thousands of dollars. In this case, by July 4.

And if you’re not able to sell off a spleen or liquidate all your furniture on Langley Bidding Wars to come up with the money, you could be facing a steep penalty.

Even the envelope your property tax notice comes in is ominous.

It’s covered in red letters and everything is written in capital letters — as though it’s yelling at you, “Pay Up or Else.”

I think of all the other ways I could spend that $4,000-plus dollars — like a vacation to Maui or a new outdoor ‘conversation’ set and lighted umbrella for the patio.  Instead, I’m paying for schools, buses, roads, water, sewer, recycling and municipal wages.

Boring!

I’m being facetious, of course. These are all very important things, and they are what makes my world go-round. The alternative is to be like Greece and, well, we all know how that’s going for them.

So, I must suck it up, and decide to “adult,” as the expression goes, for yet another day.

But as my property tax grows, year after year (it has increased by $2,000 in 10 years) I hope the members of government who decide on our tax rates take their adulting as seriously as we do.

Paying upwards of $4,000 on average in Langley per household is no doubt a hardship for some. This is not chump change we’re talking about.

We often act as armchair quarterbacks, voicing our complaints about the high costs of property taxes, but we so rarely look into how much is being spent and where.

Langley Township residents do a pretty good job of holding their municipality’s feet to the fire when it comes to spending, but having more eyes on the community chequebook is never a bad thing. When I’m looking at my bank account, trying to figure out a way to pay, I worry about how high property taxes could go. They continue to increase while wages remain stagnant.

With the baby boomers needing more access to health care, our provincial taxes are set to soar. Hydro continues to increase its rates, and now we are talking about road pricing.

But then my grown-up brain starts to hurt and I decide to leave such worries to my older self.

Being an adult has its benefits, for sure. I get to go to bed when I want, eat cereal over the sink for dinner, while drinking a glass of wine, just because.

But then the roof needs to be redone and suddenly adulting isn’t so much fun anymore.

Take it from me, you will need to take out a second mortgage to redo a roof. We figured we could travel twice around the world for the amount we paid. So, to all the next generations who can’t afford to get into the housing market — maybe that isn’t such a bad thing for you.

There is a lot of not-so-fun adulting to be done behind the white picket fence and shiny new shingles.

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