Transit tax – yes or no?

vancouver-marpole-bus-loop

A fleet of buses after the morning rush hour at the Translink Marpole bus yard
Photo by Nick Procaylo/The Vancouver Sun

Adapted from The Province by Nila Gopaul

  • Are you a Canadian citizen?
  • Do you live in Metro Vancouver?* (See a map on the next page.)
  • Are you a resident of B.C.
    (for at least six months on or before May 29, 2015)?
  • Are you 18 years of age or older,
    (on or before May 29, 2015)?
  • Are you registered to vote in B.C.?

If you answered “yes” to these questions,
you will get a ballot in the mail.

vancouver-transit-tax-voting-package

Find this envelope in your mailbox.
Photo by Nila Gopaul

metro-vancouver-transit-tax-ballot

This is a sample ballot.
You can choose “Yes” or “No”.
Photo by Nila Gopaul

Why?
The ballot will ask you to vote
“Yes” or “No” on a 0.5% increase in sales tax.
The government says this increase
will help improve transit
and transportation in Metro Vancouver.

When is voting?
This voting will begin on March 16.
It will end on May 29.

How much will it cost?
The plan will take 10 years.
over $7.5 billion.
For you, this means
for every $1,000 you spend
you will pay an extra $5.

What will people get for $7.5 billion?

  • A 25% increase in bus service
  • 400 extra buses
  • 50% increase in SeaBus service
  • More West Coast Express service
  • More service to new neighbourhoods
  • Rapid transit along central Broadway in Vancouver
  • Rapid transit in Surrey and Langley
  • A new Pattullo Bridge across the Fraser River
    between New Westminster and Surrey

Yes or No?
The No side
Most people believe we pay enough taxes.
They also believe Translink
has enough money.
Some people feel Translink
is not a good organization.
It has mismanaged its budget.
It overspends.

They also think the cities
have enough money.
For example, Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner
has promised to build more transit
“with or without this tax”.

The Yes side
Some people feel
better transit leads to healthier communities.
Others say, there is too much traffic
on our roads now.

In 30 years, Metro Vancouver
will have one million more people.
How will everyone get around?
If we wait too long,
it will be more expensive later.

What do you think?

[poll id=”28″]

*Metro Vancouver has 21 municipalities (cities, towns and villages),
one treaty First Nation and one electoral area

map-of-metro-vancouver

Metro Vancouver
Photo by TastyCakes/CC, Wikipedia