Friday, August 5, 2011

The Township of Langley, TransLink, and Gas Tax

Nobody likes paying taxes. Every election cycle politicians promise to keep taxes low while improving services and it’s really sad that people fall for this time and time again. In the South of Fraser, everyone complains about the lack of transit and that we should have better service. In both Surrey and the City of Langley, the mayor’s support a gas tax increase to pay for improving service. While gas tax may not be the best solution to pay for transit, it’s what the majority of the region’s mayors seem to accept. In the Township of Langley, the majority of council pandered to the “no tax, increased service” crowd by passing a resolution asking TransLink’s mayor council to reconsider the gas tax. Of course they didn’t provide an alternative solution to increasing service and if you talk to any of the councillors that supported this motion, they'll jump up and down and say that we need more transit service. The fact is that the gas tax will also go to improve service in the South of Fraser.

Whereas a two cent per litre gas tax and a car levy to fund the Coquitlam Evergreen Line is unfair to residents of Langley Township;

Therefore be it resolved that Council ask the TransLink Mayors Council to reconsider their decision to saddle residents south of the Fraser with both an increased gas tax and a car levy to fund transit improvements that won’t benefit them.

Some of these councillors would suggest that the South of Fraser or even Langley go-it-alone. The Township of Langley commissioned a survey a few years ago and found that it was basically getting what it paid for into transit service. With that piece of knowledge to increase service, money would still need to come from somewhere. Abbotsford is an example of going-it-alone and they have the worst transit service in the South Coast. The Township would not do better as I have a feeling that the Township’s “no tax, improve service” councillors would not increase property tax by 25% to pay for improving transit.

While it’s true that transit service sucks in the South of Fraser, the only way it can be improved it by paying to improve it. While grandstanding and passing motions may get you re-elected, it will not improve transit.

No comments: