Just in time for the Victoria Day long weekend, Metro Vancouver drivers are again being told they’re paying too much tax at the pumps.
“Every level of government has their hands in our pocket.”
Jordan Bateman with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation says at 49.2 cents per litre local drivers pay the second highest gas taxes in North America.
“From Translink at 17 cents to the federal government to the province, they all reach in there and because it’s hidden in the per litre price, we never never think of it.”
Bateman claims Translink collects more than a thousand dollars worth of taxes every year from each household in the Lower Mainland and that number could go up another 600 dollars if more taxes are approved in an upcoming referendum.
While we wait for Metro Vancouver mayors to determine what voters will be asked in an upcoming referendum on transit funding, more concerns are being raised about if the final ballot will include a ‘none of the above option.’
Jordan Bateman with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation says that’s something Premier Christy Clark has indicated she wants.
“Hopefully, the Premier sticks to her promise and we get that promise to come true because, you know there are people out there who want none of the above. The mayors would love nothing better than to put five options on there and they’re all tax increases, but it’s about the Premier and about her promise to make sure that people have the opportunity to opt out.”
Bateman says the results of a survey show the average homeowner could end up paying an extra 600 dollars a year in transit-related taxes, but officials with Angus Reid have not confirmed they’ve been hired to conduct that poll or who may have commissioned it.
Port Coquitlam mayor, and Metro Vancouver chair, Greg Moore released this statement in response to Bateman’s claims.
“I read the Canadian Tax Payers Press Release with amusement. As usual the press release, which is based on assumptions, not on fact. I can tell you that Metro Vancouver is not doing a survey and the Translink Mayors Council Investment Sub-Committee is focused on the development of the 30 Year Vision and 10 Year Implementation Strategy, which includes service levels and funding solutions.
Mr. Bateman’s press release use the terms ‘considering’, ‘potential’, and ‘could’. There is very little in the press release that is factual.
Mr. Bateman should consider using his time more constructively and offer solutions to this region, instead of cheap press releases that do nothing. Everyone agrees that over the next 25 years one million more people will be moving into this reagion and there will be an additional 600,000 jobs, we need to ensure we do the proper planning, complimented with a effective transportation and transit strategy.”
The Mayor of Coquitlam says the BC Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation is missing the boat in his simplistic arguments against the looming transit referendum.
Richard Stewart says while Jordan Bateman plays the ‘you will all pay more taxes’ card he is neglecting to tell people the cost of doing nothing.
“You could opt for none of the above but it will cost you way more. It will cost the sitizens of Metro Vancouver hundreds of millions of dollars more to opt to not build transit and instead widen our roads and buy some extra land to pave more of our Metro Vancouver region in order to accomodate a growing population.”
He says the key is to have a sustainable transit funding model.
The mayors are crafting a ten year transit vision, to be tabled next month, that will lead to the referendum itself and the question on the ballot.