Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

The Translink process

with 4 comments


The link takes you to a video clip from today’s noon news. There was a public meeting this morning on the property tax increase – did anybody lnow about that? – that was poorly attended, but those who did get there were not happy. And then the Chair of the SoCoBriTCA Board says ” we have options” but won’t say what they are. And this afternoon’s meeting is in private.

It is not the amount that is the issue. It is the open contempt for public oversight. It seems to me we have become a third rate banana republic.

This (below) is from Saturday’s Vancouver Sun

Lower Mainland homeowners were saved most but not all of the pain of TransLink’s 2008 property tax levy.

Residential property owners will face an increase of only $5 per $500,000 of assessed value.

And they will not foot the bill this year to replace the $18-million parking-site tax.

The TransLink board Friday decided — for this year only — to collect only $9 million and to collect it from businesses, not residential property owners.

To nit pick a bit – the change applies to Metro Vancouver (formerly – and still legally known as the GVRD)  “The Lower Mainland” is a much bigger area (though not precisely defined by legislation)  and that is not (yet) subject to the whims of the unelected SoCoBriTCA Board.

Written by Stephen Rees

March 28, 2008 at 12:42 pm

Posted in politics, transit

4 Responses

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  1. the term “banana republic” could be considered racist— I`ll bet even in(chiquitaville ) they wouldn`t form a group of professionals and hand them(chopsticks ) and tell them to move mountains! but all this squabling over pocket change? unless translink figures out a way to extract ,LARGE,REALLY LARGE SUMS OF CASH -NOTHING WILL HAPPEN – 40million down 1.240 billion to go for this year — and what about next and next! and next year. right 14 to 20 trillion billion zillion to go – signed……………………………………….are you talking to me!

    grant g

    March 28, 2008 at 3:28 pm

  2. No, it couldn’t. The term was born when the United Fruit Company started taking over Central American states and running them purely for its own commercial interests. They did however usually keep going with the outward appearances of a political process.

    According to wikipedia the term was coined by O. Henry in reference to Honduras

    Stephen Rees

    March 28, 2008 at 3:37 pm

  3. I’d like to see TransLink haul in realistic funds from parking spaces. At least they’d be doing something useful with the tax even if it is a “discouragement” tax.

    Second, if they would just switch to LRT from SkyTrain they wouldn’t be in such a financial pickle! Sheesh!

    Erika Rathje

    March 28, 2008 at 4:33 pm

  4. The news reported that Translink Board decoded to raise only half of the $18 million – $9 million raised from the tax increase and $9 million from cutbacks/efficiencies.

    The rate applied to both residents and businesses will be the same – a 2.6% increase.

    News1130 reports that (presumably for Vancouver) that equates to a $5.00 annual increase for a $500,000 residential property (versus the originally proposed $13.00 according to News1130) and a $24.00 annual increase for a $500,000 commercial property (due to the City’s differing residential and commercial tax rates).

    Plus CKNW reports that commercial property owners are also hit by an additional tax of $72.00 per $500,000 in value (not sure where that comes from) on top of the $24.00.

    Seem reasonable to me. i.e. the directors weren’t married to the terms of the original proposal (the way that some politicians may be).

    Ron C.

    March 28, 2008 at 6:15 pm

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