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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A memorial to Hudson Brooks outside the South Surrey RCMP detachment. (File photo)
Officer who fatally shot Hudson Brooks recounts ‘absolutely terrifying’ incident

Const. Elizabeth Cucheran testified at coroner’s inquest Tuesday morning

Photo posted to facebook.com/HoratioAlgerCA.
Eight Surrey students among 170 Horatio Alger scholarship winners in Canada

‘Need-based scholarships’ given to high school students

File photo
Surrey council members give themselves a raise in secret meeting

A redacted report was subsequently posted to the city’s website

Students with Seaquam Secondary’s Delta Youth Advisory Council are collecting non-perishable food donations Feb. 1 to March 5 to help feed local families in need over spring break. (Delta School District/submitted photo)
Seaquam Secondary food drive to help feed 15 North Delta families

Donations can be dropped week days between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. until Monday, March 8

Jennifer Brooks with a stone tablet that adorns the memorial to her son Hudson, outside the South Surrey RCMP detachment parkade where he was fatally shot by police in July 2015. (File photo)
Coroner’s inquest underway to examine Hudson Brooks’ 2015 police-shooting death

Witness recalls ‘feeling scared’ for South Surrey man in moments before RCMP fired fatal shots

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

The incident happened in downtown Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Castlegar teen recounts stabbing after stranger breaks into grandmother’s house

The unnamed teen survived a terrifying attack Feb. 21

(Black Press file photo)
Agassiz boy, 11, dies from ‘extensive injuries’: Homicide team

Agassiz RCMP were called out Friday to assist with a child in medical distress

Most Read