Re: “0.5% transit tax proposed,” The Leader, Aug. 29.
I am not in favour of adding 0.5 per cent to the tax burden of Lower Mainland residents. We are already heavily burdened with taxes that make shopping here for the most part non-competitive. If the rate were lower, it might be easier to handle, but enough is enough. This new tax would just increase my incentive to shop as much as possible in Bellingham.
The other day I filled up my tank for under $1 Canadian a litre. I see more and more B.C. licence plates in the parking lots in Bellingham because the price differences are worth the trip. Adding more sales tax to our tax burden will just widen the gap.
TransLink has a Cadillac spending habit and a Pinto budget.
They need to live within their means because I am certainly not going to support this tax and will spend my dollars elsewhere.
K. Buffel, Surrey
Consumers are heading south
TransLink has lost a grip on fiscal responsibility and the Mayors’ Council just encourages them to continue.
They spend and spend, and then come to bleed taxpayers more. They have money for $600 for art work at stations, more employees making over $100,000 per year, $900,000 per year for free coffee, $100,000 salaries for transit cops, and mostly empty buses running around Surrey begging for clientele.
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is correct – “none of the above” needs to be on the transit referendum ballot.
TransLink has already driven countless to the U.S. for gas and shopping with their gas tax, and this tax will send even more voting with their right foot on the gas pedal south, hurting businesses and jobs here.
TransLink: Look at the border crossings and get the message.
M. Green, Surrey
Governance is the issue
TransLink keeps feeling around underneath the existing tax base with their grubby fingers, trying to feel out any little bit of revenue from the already taxed-out public with which to fund their schemes.
People should be able to see through this untenable situation to the real problems with taxation and governance in this country. The true solution is to take all the revenue that is stripped from taxpayers every year and put it in one big pot. Then from that pot, the federal government gets 20 per cent and the local governments get 80 per cent.
The provincial levels of government have to go; we can no longer afford that middle level.
Provincial governments serve mainly as promoters of extractive industries and dislike the expensive distraction of dealing with social programs. So why would we feed money for transit through the provincial revenue system and expect a different result?
At the local level, a truly democratic system of government needs to be instituted to replace the present corporation-style of local governance. Only then could we trust these local government people to properly invest in transit infrastructure.
Robert McCroskey, Surrey