I am voting no in the upcoming transit referendum because:
1. The initial 0.5-per-cent tax rate can creep up without any additional check-in with the electorate. In my view, it will be too tempting for regional politicians not to the leave the tax at 0.5 per cent. So what are we really voting for?
2. It is insulting as a voter to be told “there is no Plan B” and the region will fall apart without this particular tax. The PST option was only settled on quite late by Metro Vancouver and the Mayors’ Council. Don’t ask people to make a choice and then try to tell them there is only one choice.
3. Raise revenues directly from users rather than use a broad-based consumption tax. Make it easy to understand where tax dollars are going. The PST fails in that.
4. The link between PST revenue and project spending is weak and confusing. For example, regional taxpayers are asked to support the added cost of tunelling a rapid transit line in Vancouver, when everywhere else a much less-expensive above-grade system is proposed. Why the special design and subsidy for Vancouver? Stop the subway at Cambie and save $1 billion, with minimal impact on ridership.
You don’t have to dislike TransLink to find good reasons to vote no in this referendum.