Via Nathan Pachal at The South Fraser Blog, Jeff Nagel writes up some very bad news in BC Local News.  Right now, Translink gets $15 million a year from a 7% tax on pay parking.  The problem is, that tax is part of the provincial sales taxes that are going to get folded into the HST along with the federal government’s GST.  So it’s unclear that Translink is going to keep getting that revenue.  But suppose Translink and the province could work it out with Ottawa for Translink to get an appropriately-sized cut of the HST, to make up for the $15 million they got from the parking tax.  Problem solved, right?

Wrong.  Translink wanted to either double or triple the parking tax, bring it up to either 14% or 21%, in order to generate more revenue.  Why bump up the tax?  Quoth Nagel:

Tripling the parking sales tax to generate an extra $30 million was one of the identified revenue sources in a proposed funding scenario to generate an extra $130 million a year to keep TransLink on life support and avert deep cuts.

A much more ambitious expansion plan would double the parking tax immediately and move it to 21 per cent in 2015.

But as Nagel reports, “there’s no obvious way a customized, higher amount could be charged on pay parking lots on TransLink’s behalf.”  Super.  That’s just great.

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