It seems that the province of British Columbia is looking towards municipal property tax revenues to contribute to TransLink funding. Premier Gordon Campbell first brought up the subject at a Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce meeting a few weeks ago and at least one mayor is not happy about the idea.
Joe Trasolini, Mayor of Port Moody does not agree with a municipality having to pay a tax increase to pay for a regional transportation system. He also questioned why the $125 million in collected carbon tax is not being considered for use. The intent was to use the money to get people riding public transit, so what better use could there be? TransLink issued a report stating that they have used all available funds from parking, fuel and hydro taxes and the only option is to raise property owner taxes to cover their slated projects.
The taxes appear to be a given. A website is already up, spelling out the two tax increase options being considered. If TransLink just goes forward on the Evergreen Line and the North Fraser Perimeter Road then the average home owner would be looking at a $31 per year increase and an automatic three percent increase each year. If other projects and some regional investments are added, the monthly tax increase goes to $54 per year, also with the automatic three percent hikes per year. The increases are expected to begin in 2011.