Metro Vancouver residents reject tax to fund transportation projects

By Rob Shaw and Kelly Sinoski, Vancouver Sun

Metro Vancouver residents have rejected a tax increase to pay for expanded transit service, according to plebiscite results from Elections BC.

Elections BC says 61.68 per cent per cent of voters were against the new tax, compared to 38.32 per cent in favour.

Of the 23 municipalities that voted, all but three rejected the tax increase, including Vancouver, Surrey and the region’s largest municipalities.

Only Bowen Island, the Village of Belcarra and Metro Vancouver Electoral Area “A” voted in favour of the tax.

The plebiscite asked voters whether they supported a 0.5 per cent addition to the provincial sales tax, which would raise $250 million annually toward TransLink’s plan 10-year plan to generate $7.5 billion for expanded service, including more buses, better road maintenance, a subway along the Broadway corridor in Vancouver and light rail in Surrey.

“This is a tremendous victory for taxpayers, our underdog No TransLink Tax campaign and the Canadian Taxpayers Federation,” said Jordan Bateman, No TransLink Tax spokesperson.

“Our campaign didn’t have millions of taxpayer dollars or fancy CEOs committing their groups to our cause – we had everyday taxpayers who simply believe TransLink wastes too much of our money to be trusted with any more of it. This is a win for all of us.”

Metro Vancouver mayors are calling for governance changes at TransLink following the No vote.

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