I never like complex stuff and thus spend little to understand them. I came across this article A new tax for TransLink: What do you think? in Vancouver Sun regarding the much-heated topic on transportation in Metro Vancouver.
The Vancouverites know it’s not pleasant to get around the city and surroundings. Buses don’t come at frequent intervals enough, tolls are not acceptable and are taxing the poor, travelling is charged by zone rather than distance, pay parking is at a premium (street or parkade), and don’t even start on the ridiculous gas price, which can just jump 10% in two weeks. Everything, and I do mean everything, is going UP – hydro bills, gas bills, MSP, ICBC rates, even your own phone bill and TV rates are increasing.
Hmmm, my salary jumps 6% (at best so far) in a year, and the government is saying that the inflation is under control.
Anyway, I read the article, and I am surprised that the government wants to toll the roads and put more taxes on the average citizen ($1.60 avg/vehicle). Other honourable mentions include:
– additional fuel tax
– new regional carbon tax
– property tax ($80 incr/hshd)
– new vehicle registration fee (flat fee/variable by emission/variable by proximity to transit)
– benefiting area tax
– regional sales tax
– hotel tax ($10/room/night)
– parking stall levy ($115/stall)
– transit fare increases over/above the rate of inflation (33% suggested)
I think, instead of focusing on how much money/revenue can be raised in each and/or combination of these options, the government should focus on how affordability the transit really is in Metro Vancouver. In a region like Vancouver, where population growth has been consistently increased for the past two or even three decades, and is expected to grow more, sensible and sustainable ideas must be explored in order for this area to remain livable.