Chamber says no to TransLink tax

The Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce would prefer road pricing to a PST increase.

On Tuesday, the chamber announced it won’t support the referendum, expected next spring, on whether to increase funding to TransLink through a 0.5 per cent increase in the provincial sales tax.

The chamber has spent the last several years lobbying for what it calls “mobility pricing,” also known as road pricing, to pay for transit improvements. Lower Mainland mayors say they favour road pricing in the long term.

Loss of business to Abbotsford and the United States, and the risk of local improvements being delayed are among the chamber’s reasons for its opposition.

The Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce’s full statement on the matter is here:

GREATER LANGLEY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE OPPOSED TO REFERENDUM ON TRANSIT AND TRANSPORTATION

After conducting extensive research, significant deliberations and meeting with stakeholder groups the Board of Directors has concluded that it does not support the referendum that proposes a .5% dedicated regional tax to fund the transit and transportation infrastructure expansion plan in the Metro Vancouver Region.

For the past several years the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce has advocated for ‘mobility pricing’ to provide a user-pay, sustainable funding source, that is equitable and provides the ability to impact demand management in the Metro Vancouver region.  We are disappointed that the current proposals do not have concrete plans to ensure the regional tax is temporary and facilitate transition to mobility pricing in the near future.

Although the Board supports improved transportation services to mitigate congestion that negatively impacts on the movement of goods and services, they have concerns with the referendum question, as proposed, including:

• the lack of stated mechanisms to mitigate the negative impact on Langley due to leakage of investment and consumers into Abbotsford and the U.S. to avoid a regional tax

• the level of proposed improvements and investments put forward in the Mayor’s vision for the first ten years that will directly impact the Langley businesses

• the risk of South of Fraser investments being deferred and/or delayed if the other larger projects go beyond the original budgets or incur construction delays

We will continue to lobby for the implementation of mobility pricing to fund transportation improvements in the region.  

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