A letter writer feels no sympathy for shipping companies that could be forced to pay a $10 fee to move each shipping container through the region’s ports.

Shippers can absorb $10 ‘burden’

Metro Vancouver area mayors are considering imposing a tax on shipping containers that pass through our ports to help finance regional transit expansion.

Metro Vancouver area mayors are considering imposing a tax on shipping containers that pass through our ports to help finance regional transit expansion.

The idea is to impose a tax on an industry (shipping) that tears up roads, creates traffic congestion, adds to air pollution and is resulting in billions of taxpayer dollars being spent to bring these materials to market more efficiently (eg. South Fraser Perimeter Road, Port Mann Bridge upgrade) and, at the same time, provide some relief to already over-taxed citizens.

I like it.

The proposed tax is a mere $10 per container; each of which, by the way, probably contains merchandise that would generate thousands of dollars in profits for the recipients of the contents therein.

Not only that, most of these containers probably contain products destined for delivery to several different companies at the same time. So, in the end, it might actually cost any one company only a few extra dollars to have their products delivered.

The astounding response from the Port of Metro Vancouver? “It would be too heavy a burden for businesses.”

Really?

We, the consumers, are constantly bombarded with newspaper, television and radio ads telling us that we need, and should buy, the newest and latest gadgets the manufacturing world has to offer.  Throw away your old stuff, because it is obsolete. You need to buy, buy, buy.

But at the same time industry is saying, “Please don’t ask us to pay for the damage that delivering those products to you is doing to your environment and infrastructure. We simply can’t afford it.”

Well, I can’t afford the ever-increasing property taxes, utility fees, gasoline taxes, transit fares and other charges that are needed to pay for the luxury of getting products to market on well-paved roads and in record time.

It is high time that industry started paying their share of the freight and the damage that shipping that freight is causing to our badly eroding infrastructure.

In the grand scheme of things, this miniscule increase in the cost to businesses to move their products to market would be a mere fraction of the cost to taxpayers just trying to get work to make the money to buy these products.

To even suggest that this would be a heavy burden on industry is appalling.

 

John Werring

Surrey

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