Have you had time to consider how you will vote on the upcoming Transit and Transportation Plebiscite?
I know we haven’t but since this impacts our clients looking to buy or sell in Sullivan, Panorama, Surrey, Cloverdale, South Surrey and Langley we wanted to do some digging around to determine just what we need to know before we send in our plebiscite.
This month Elections BC will be mailing all registered voters in Metro Vancouver the following question: Do you support a new 0.5% Metro Vancouver Congestion Improvement Tax, to be dedicated to the Mayors Transportation and Transit Plan? We have until May 29th to respond and mail back to Elections BC.
Our understanding is this new tax will be added to the PST in Metro Vancouver communities only - 7.5 per cent. The rest of the province ie: Abbotsford and Mission would continue to pay 7 per cent. Fully harmonized the same exemptions would still apply ie: not applied to essential items like food, kids clothes and Rx.
The proposed tax will not be enough to pay for the mayors transportation plan collecting only one third of the funds needed with the average cost per household projected at $128.00 per year or $50 per year for low income households. The rest would need to come from provincial and federal governments. There is no commitment from government at this time that they will provide this funding.
If the vote passes the Translink Mayors Council (reps from 23 municipalities) will table a 30 year vision and 10 year investment plan that covers 7.5 billion worth of improvements. Out of this 7.5 billion those of us south of the Fraser River can expect a share of 4 billion. Here is a summary of the planned improvements this side of the river:
Three new B-Lines
Bus exchanges new and improved: Surrey Centre, Langley and Willowbrook
Expo Skytrain line capacity increased by 65 per cent by 2041
General Bus Service increased by 25 percent
Road upgrades including 16th ave and Fraser Highway and more road-rail overpasses
Light rail added to King George and 104 in 7 years, Fraser Hwy connecting Surrey Centre with Langley Centre in 12 years
Reduced congestion on roads through Light Rail Transit offering an alternative to driving
New Pattulo bridge
Cycling and pedestrian walkway networks expanded
If the vote doesn’t pass is there a Plan B? According to the mayors, Plan B would be to increase property taxes – estimated at approx $230.00 per household per year. If the plebiscite fails the next opportunity to propose a new transportation funding source to the public would be the 2018 municipal elections.
What’s our decision? Assuming of course Lucas lets us discuss in length lol we will probably talk it out over coffee once the plebiscite arrives but we do plan to make sure we are fully informed.
Here are some links if you would like to learn more with us:
Enjoy the sunshine and think of us if you know of someone looking to buy or sell in the upcoming Spring market!