"Reason is always a kind of brute force; those who appeal to the head rather than the heart, however pallid and polite, are necessarily men of violence. We speak of 'touching' a man's heart, but we can do nothing to his head but hit it." --G.K. Chesterton

Friday, September 16, 2016

Property-tax boost for transit?

I was a reluctant supporter of the transit referendum last year. Reluctantly in favour, not because I was a big fan of the sale-tax increase proposed by the referendum, but because I was afraid if the proposal failed, there would be pressure to increase property taxes to fund the transit improvements. And, given that there is little relation between one's ability to shoulder tax increases and the value of one's home (the value upon which property taxes are levied), I definitely oppose piling this sort of thing onto the backs of homeowners. Yet, here's the news that I feared we would inevitably see. Yes, it's a small increase, but I fear that this proposal may set a precedent.

Metro Vancouver mayors support property tax increase to fund transportation plan

Vancouver, BC, Canada / News Talk 980 CKNW | Vancouver's News. Vancouver's Talk

Despite firm rejections in the past, Metro Vancouver mayors are supporting property tax increases as a way to pay for transit improvements.
A property tax increase of $3 per year, a transit fare increase of two to three per cent per year for three years, a fee for new developments, and selling off surplus Translink property.
That’s how Metro Vancouver mayors want to raise the regional share of funding for its 10-year transit and transportation plan.
Mayors voted almost unanimously to move forward with its draft investment plan for phase one.
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, who was formally opposed to a property tax increase, is asked why he changed his mind.
“Well I think in this case it’s a very small property tax increase relative to the overall investment, and we are seeing a massive investment from the federal government. We are seeing signifcant dollars and hopefully more coming from the BC government.”
It includes a 10 per cent increase to bus service, 50 new SkyTrain cars, five new West Coast Express Cars and a new SeaBus.
The plan now goes to the public for feedback before a final decision is made in November.

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