Park the Tax Coalition welcomes new TransLink structure
Editor: An important piece of legislation was recently passed by the B.C. Legislative Assembly. Bill 43, the Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority Amendment Act 2007, reorganizes the existing TransLink governance and funding structure.
The Lower Mainland needs a responsibly financed transportation system that promotes the socio-economic development and growth of the region into the future, and meets the needs and interests of the users, the province and its taxpayers. Bill 43 is proposing a governance and funding structure to achieve just that.
It provides for a new mayors’ council to maintain public accountability, a professional board of directors and an independent commissioner to enhance transparency and due diligence regarding TransLink’s plans and initiatives.
Too often in the past, TransLink decisions have been marred by parochial decision-making and irresponsible transportation financing. Take for example TransLink’s Parking Area Tax — a tax that was so wildly unpopular it spurred the organization of the largest tax fighting coalition in B.C. history — the Park the Tax Coalition.
This coalition brought together more than 23,000 small, medium and large businesses from across the Lower Mainland to oppose an ill-conceived, inefficient, unprecedented parking area tax that unfairly targeted one economic sector.
The 23,000 members of the coalition look forward to working with the new fiscally accountable transportation organization, to be called the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority. Important public policy principles are at stake here. The coalition looks forward to working co-operatively with the new authority to achieve revenue sources that are fair, equitable and transparent and transportation planning that promotes reasonably financed transit services and transportation solutions to encourage the social and economic vitality of the region in a manner that is environmentally sustainable.
Thanks to the B.C. government for the leadership it has demonstrated. A more effective transportation system benefits us all and meets our collective goals of a competitive economy and a cleaner environment.
Ted Williams, chair,
Park the Tax Coalition