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Translink 2135 on wb 9 Broadway Vancouver BC 2007_0108

Translink held a public meeting last night at the Burnaby Firefighters’ Hall. It was intended to elicit input on a proposal to increase property tax by $18m a year to replace the parking tax.

Raising taxes on anybody cannot be expected to be popular, and Translink has been taking a beating in recent months as it was rearranged by the Province to be even less representative and open than it had been. A new Board has been appointed and intends to hold its meetings in private.

Clearly they expected a bigger turnout. That hall holds three times the number that attended. The Sun reports that about 50 people attended and 11 spoke in a meeting that lasted about an hour. So whatever the outcome, we can hardly complain. An opportunity was missed by those who said they who wanted more input, and those who don’t like paying more tax than absolutely unavoidable. (Mind you if you read the cbc coverage, they make it sound like a different meeting although the facts they report are the same.)

Or maybe we have become cynical. And thought that attending a meeting about an issue that has only arisen because the Province listens to businesses (mostly) was a bit of a waste of time, with a foregone conclusion. Or perhaps “cynical” is too harsh a term and “realistic” is closer to the mark.

The sum in question, by the way, is less than 2% of Translink’s annual revenues

2 Comments so far

  1. Gary Jones :: BlueFur.com (bluefur) on March 18th, 2008 @ 9:25 am

    If they need to raise $18m a year how about they take a scim of ICBC’s $642m profit from last year.


  2. maikopunk on March 18th, 2008 @ 7:52 pm

    Holding the meeting on St. Patrick’s Day and during spring break was now that I think about, obviously a ploy to depress attendance. That being said, now I wish I had gone.

    They’re just raising taxes because it’s the easiest and cheapest way to collect the money. Translink could raise the cash by putting more effort into selling advertising space or using the property they to sell coffee, newspapers, hotdogs, etc. But that would require hiring people and also spending money.

    Then again, if the feds kicked down more funding from the gas taxes and other fees we’re already paying, they could more than cover this magical $18 million sum that’s required. Until next time they need money, of course. God, I feel like having a Network moment here, sticking my head out the window and yelling those words out loud, "I’m mad as hell…"



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