Editor, The News:
The biggest problem with the TransLink referendum is that it doesn’t address the most important principle of taxation, which is fairness.
Is it fair that residents of Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge pay more taxes to TransLink that residents of Vancouver when we receive a small fraction of the services they receive?
Before TransLink asks for more money, it has to institute a fair system of taxation.
We currently pay more in taxes because of the fuel tax of $0.17 per litre, as we generally have to drive far more than Vancouver residents. We also pay a bridge toll that they seldom pay.
The only fair tax system would be to eliminate the fuel tax and generate all taxes needed through the property tax system.
Each housing unit (including suites) would be assessed a standard amount based on the TransLink service available to them.
Vancouver would get the highest assessment as it receives the most service. Residents in east Maple Ridge would get a small assessment as they receive very little service.
No referendum should occur until the question of fairness is addressed.
Something for our new mayors to work on.