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TransLink disputes group’s tax claims

Jeremy Nuttall

By Jeremy Nuttall, 24 hours Vancouver

TransLink SkyTrain in Vancouver. (FILE PHOTO)

TransLink SkyTrain in Vancouver. (FILE PHOTO)

The B.C. chapter of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation says TransLink wants to collect another $600 annually from each Metro Vancouver household, adding the organization doesn’t know how to properly spend the money it makes now.

TransLink is disputing the source of the CTF’s information.

CTF president Jordan Bateman met media at a Burnaby Super Save gas station to protest the price of gas, linking it to TransLink taxes.

He said data shows the transit authority and its Mayors’ Council are planning to hike taxes to make up for budget shortfalls.

“Giving TransLink any more of our money right now is like giving a pyromaniac more matches,” Bateman said. “Until there’s a complete revamp of TransLink, until taxpayer confidence in the organization can be rebuilt, they have no real moral authority to come and ask us for more money.”

It’s a familiar tune from the CTF, an organization that has continually slammed Vancouver’s transit authority for what it claims are bloated salaries and wasteful spending.

Bateman claimed it got the results from a survey conducted by TransLink and the Mayor’s Council on transit, showing a regional carbon tax, tolling every bridge and the always-controversial $75 car levy as possible solutions.

“I don’t know how many times people have to beat this thing down,” said Bateman of the levy, which has failed in the past.

But TransLink says Bateman’s information is incorrect.

TransLink said it has not conducted a survey and Mayor’s Council on Regional Transportation chair Greg Moore told 24 hours in an email neither has his group.

“I can tell you that metro has not done a poll and the Mayors’ Council investment subcommittee is focused on developing the plan, including service levels and funding solutions,” wrote Moore, adding he is on holiday and unable to comment further.

Bateman said he got the figures and information from a 2012 evaluation of revenue sources report to TransLink.





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