It’s one thing to have a discussion about the pros and cons of a proposal based on the facts. It's another, when one side isn't being honest.
The problem with the discussion around whether citizens in Metro Vancouver should vote to increase the PST by 0.5% to pay for $7.5 billion in transit and transportation improvements is that, while the proponents of the plan must stick to the facts, the opponents of the plan are twisting the truth and actually using untruthful information.
The opponents of the mayors’ plan to improve transit in our region are using fear in a bid to scare people into voting against this plan. One of the ways they are doing this is by telling people that the plan will require each and every household in Metro Vancouver to pay $258 per year. This is simply not the case.
The opponents divided the $250 million per year required to fund the plan by the 967,948 households in Metro Vancouver to arrive at their figure. How PST works in BC is more nuanced.
PST is paid for by businesses, visitors, and residents. The amount of money that a person would contribute to fund the mayors’ plan is proportionate to their income.
|Average PST increase paid by households in Metro Vancouver if transit plebiscite passes. Select table to enlarge.|
In Langley City, the median household income is $50,231 and the average income is $61,288. Langley City households would pay an average of $100 per year.
Surrey’s household median income is $67,702 and the average income is $82,780. Households in Surrey would on average pay between $100 and $116 per year.
The median household income in the Township of Langley is $76,947 and the average income is $91,875. Most households in the Township would pay on average between $116 and $166 per year.
While people in Metro Vancouver will be paying more PST, they will actually come out ahead. Investing in improving transit and transportation will saving people time which they can spend with their family and friends. It will also allow many families to reduce automobile costs, saving anywhere from several hundred to thousands of dollars per year.