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Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > Canada > Alberta & British Columbia > SSP: Local Vancouver > Transportation & Infrastructure

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  #1221  
Old Posted Apr 12, 2012, 11:18 PM
jsbertram jsbertram is offline
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With the BC Election coming next year, I can't see the BC Libs raising taxes this year - regardless of the benefits they will used for, since the finished results won't be seen until long after the 2013 election.

Forcing the mayors to increase their property taxes to get better transit, the BC Libs can say 'not my fault' when voters complain about another tax grab.


The outcome of the BC by-elections this month will give an indication of voter like (or dislike) of the BC Libs. Traditionally by-election voters will express their hatred of the gov't in power, especially if they know that voting to switch to an opposition MLA won't cause the gov't to fall & trigger a general election.

The Alberta election will give a preview of how much the BC Libs have to shore up their free-enterprise no-new-taxes less-government cred with voters so they get re-elected next year.
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  #1222  
Old Posted Apr 13, 2012, 3:54 PM
twoNeurons twoNeurons is offline
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Seems like both parties want an out when it comes to absolving responsibility of funding.

Mayors: "We were forced to raise property taxes, because the other funding sources were dried up by the province."

Province: "We didn't raise taxes. The mayors raised property taxes, though."
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  #1223  
Old Posted Apr 13, 2012, 8:13 PM
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queetz@home queetz@home is offline
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Here is the thing the BC Liberals and the mayors simply don't get.

Most of the mayors "voted to increase" the gas tax last year, ONE MONTH before the municipal elections with much controversy and whining. But despite the fact that Robertson, Watts, Stewart and Fassbender openly led to supporting the gas tax, they WON the municipal elections EASILY. Pretty much every other mayor who voted on this supposedly unpopular tax increase also won. And yet the BC Liberals, who is suppose to be blameless keep loosing support.

As a matter of fact, while Corrigan, Wright and Brodie were shoe-ins regardless of what they vote (since they already have excellent transit and don't need any other municipality getting improvements), one mayor, covered much by the media, that went against the taxes for the sake of his "community" is Rick Green who LOST the election (I know there are other factors but clearly opposing the much hated gas taxes didn't score him any points).

So perhaps all this political deflection of who raises what is simply mute to the voters?

Voters aren't really that stupid tbh, and at the end of the day, it seems they will not penalize municipal leaders for raising taxes as long as its for a good cause. But they will penalize politicians that are clearly doing things just for selfish political gain (like how they did with Rick Green and are doing with the BC Liberals now).

Kinda wish politicians in all levels of government realize this...
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  #1224  
Old Posted Apr 14, 2012, 3:02 AM
whatnext whatnext is offline
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Originally Posted by queetz@home View Post
Here is the thing the BC Liberals and the mayors simply don't get.

Most of the mayors "voted to increase" the gas tax last year, ONE MONTH before the municipal elections with much controversy and whining. But despite the fact that Robertson, Watts, Stewart and Fassbender openly led to supporting the gas tax, they WON the municipal elections EASILY. Pretty much every other mayor who voted on this supposedly unpopular tax increase also won. And yet the BC Liberals, who is suppose to be blameless keep loosing support. ..

...Voters aren't really that stupid tbh, and at the end of the day, it seems they will not penalize municipal leaders for raising taxes as long as its for a good cause. But they will penalize politicians that are clearly doing things just for selfish political gain (like how they did with Rick Green and are doing with the BC Liberals now).

Kinda wish politicians in all levels of government realize this...
Not really. Most of the civic examples you provide had no serious competition, or the opponents were also onboard with the tax increase. None had a credible opponent that seized upon it as an issue.

As I suggested in the Teachers Strike thread, the BC Libs cut income taxes too much and as a result too many projects are cash starved or being rolled out as user pay. Nothing pisses people off more than being constantly nickel and dimed. Had Gordo been more prudent in his tax cutting mania, we wouldn't be in this mess.
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  #1225  
Old Posted Apr 14, 2012, 3:49 AM
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Originally Posted by whatnext View Post
As I suggested in the Teachers Strike thread, the BC Libs cut income taxes too much
How much is too much? can you clarify?
BC has amongst the lowest taxes in canada for lower brackets, while having the third lowest for the highest income earners. If you put the majority of tax hikes on the highest earners, you may increase fairness but the amount of revenue Victoria receives may be less than expected. would you tax lower income earners?

Quote:
and as a result too many projects are cash starved or being rolled out as user pay. Nothing pisses people off more than being constantly nickel and dimed.
But even the members of the mayors council agree that translink should be user pay.

Income taxes are far trom transparent. How much tax did you pay for that new computer? (hint=it's 12%). now quick, how much income tax did you pay last year? How much tax is with-held from your paycheck? I'd like to know how much i'm 'nickled and dimed', but ignorance is bliss, for some..

Quote:
Had Gordo been more prudent in his tax cutting mania, we wouldn't be in this mess.
meh. we will likely have a change in government where we may see said income taxes increase. we'll if your hypothesis is correct. i'll also be interested to see what a different administration in victoria will do with TL.
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  #1226  
Old Posted Apr 14, 2012, 6:23 AM
racc racc is offline
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Originally Posted by whatnext View Post
Not really. Most of the civic examples you provide had no serious competition, or the opponents were also onboard with the tax increase. None had a credible opponent that seized upon it as an issue.

As I suggested in the Teachers Strike thread, the BC Libs cut income taxes too much and as a result too many projects are cash starved or being rolled out as user pay. Nothing pisses people off more than being constantly nickel and dimed. Had Gordo been more prudent in his tax cutting mania, we wouldn't be in this mess.
Agreed. But regarding transit funding, rejecting transit funding did not do any wonders for Premier Dosanjh either. Clark should have supported it. Tax haters are not voting for her or the NDP either so why pander to them. Makes no sense at all.
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  #1227  
Old Posted Apr 14, 2012, 5:15 PM
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Originally Posted by whatnext View Post
Not really. Most of the civic examples you provide had no serious competition, or the opponents were also onboard with the tax increase. None had a credible opponent that seized upon it as an issue.
There could have been a protest vote. A candidate that could have run and siezed the opportunity but the fact of the matter is none came forward cuz its not really that big a deal. Plus Barry Lynch did put up a good fight against Richard Stewart, though its true he also supported the gas tax. The vocal opponents within the public was being "critical" of Watts but at the end of the day, she still won via a HUGE landslide unlike the squeaker Christy had with Point Grey. So yes, they WON EASILY!!!

The same can be said about the BC Liberals as having "no serious competition", as the HST was already announcement and implemented prior to the 2009 election but still they won due to Carole James political opportunism (similar to what Christy is doing today). It was only after Vander Zalm that the HST started to hurt them. So how come there was no "Vander Zalm" for municipalities? Clearly the public opposition to gas taxes wasn't as strong even in the SoF , according to the survey at that time they even want improvements to come forward.

The only guys that only seems to whine about is the likes of John Cummings and Jordan Bateman. If the mayors were to approve any increase in taxes, I doubt the outcome on the municipal elections would affect them, Rick Green learned that the hard way...
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  #1228  
Old Posted Apr 15, 2012, 7:34 PM
whatnext whatnext is offline
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Originally Posted by mezzanine View Post
How much is too much? can you clarify?
BC has amongst the lowest taxes in canada for lower brackets, while having the third lowest for the highest income earners. If you put the majority of tax hikes on the highest earners, you may increase fairness but the amount of revenue Victoria receives may be less than expected. would you tax lower income earners?


But even the members of the mayors council agree that translink should be user pay.

Income taxes are far trom transparent. How much tax did you pay for that new computer? (hint=it's 12%). now quick, how much income tax did you pay last year? How much tax is with-held from your paycheck? I'd like to know how much i'm 'nickled and dimed', but ignorance is bliss, for some..



meh. we will likely have a change in government where we may see said income taxes increase. we'll if your hypothesis is correct. i'll also be interested to see what a different administration in victoria will do with TL.
How many people came to BC because income taxes were cut? How many individuals really left because they though they were too high?

Instead we've had yearly increases in MSP premums, the carbon tax which creeps up every year, increases in gas taxes, the aborted HST. Ignorance is bliss, but only if you don't keep whacking people with increased taxes & fees every year.

Does anyone buy the myth the carbon tax is revenue neutral? And if it is, what's the point? People just redirect money saved from income tax to pay for fuel. If the carbon tax had some worthwhile dedicated purpose like funding transit, maybe there would be more support but instead it just disappears into the black hole of general revenue.
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  #1229  
Old Posted Apr 15, 2012, 7:52 PM
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^ Now you're making the 'all my taxes are too high/i don't like how they are spending it/get off of my lawn' argument.

But i'll bite:

Quote:
If the carbon tax had some worthwhile dedicated purpose like funding transit, maybe there would be more support but instead it just disappears into the black hole of general revenue.
Let's say I live on an acreage near Clearwater BC. If my carbon tax gets pledged to only fund transit benefits, what potential 'transit benefit' can be built to help my local area?
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  #1230  
Old Posted Apr 15, 2012, 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by mezzanine View Post
^ Now you're making the 'all my taxes are too high/i don't like how they are spending it/get off of my lawn' argument.

But i'll bite:



Let's say I live on an acreage near Clearwater BC. If my carbon tax gets pledged to only fund transit benefits, what potential 'transit benefit' can be built to help my local area?
Oh come on. No one is even suggesting that. What has been suggested is that the carbon tax revenue for a region goes into funding transit in that region. For places where transit is not really that practical, the revenue could go into bike paths, sidewalks, energy efficiency measures for homes or other things that could reduce GHG emissions in that community.
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  #1231  
Old Posted Apr 15, 2012, 11:04 PM
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Bike paths and sidewalks in Clearwater in concerns to an acreage owner might even be less beneficial to them then paying for transit in Vancouver. Paying for power line expansion to remote parts of BC would be beneficial to the province as a whole as it would spur economical activity and reduce the tax burden on an individual basis, at least in theory.
I'd like to see Surrey tackle a transit project on it's own, they have they ability to finance via area specific DCLs enough money to finance a pet project. Perhaps show up Vancouver and get them to do the same. We've used DCLs for projects of much more questionable public benefit then transit.
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  #1232  
Old Posted Apr 15, 2012, 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by racc View Post
Oh come on. No one is even suggesting that. What has been suggested is that the carbon tax revenue for a region goes into funding transit in that region. For places where transit is not really that practical, the revenue could go into bike paths, sidewalks, energy efficiency measures for homes or other things that could reduce GHG emissions in that community.
But now you've taken a clean and transparent piece of public policy and introduced further potential limitations and distortions. What areas would be eligible for transit funding versus other initiatives? Who would decide? Look what you are covering - it's even more broad than transit; why not put the CT to gen revenue and commit more of your finite pool of funds to these initiatives? How would you ensure that money for sidewalks and bike paths be used for GHG lowering initiatives versus 'neighbourhood improvement' plans?

If doing what you propose will help win popular support for the CT, then you plan may be beneficial, but I see little upside and lots of potential downside of your plan.
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  #1233  
Old Posted Apr 15, 2012, 11:15 PM
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Bike paths and sidewalks in Clearwater in concerns to an acreage owner might even be less beneficial to them then paying for transit in Vancouver.
If the bike paths are part of a cycling tourism network, they can really help the local economy. Quebec and many places in Europe have done a great job of this.
Regarding sidewalks, the only other option that people have is walking on the side of the road, which is really dangerous especially on narrow country roads with no lights and little or no speed (or drunk driving) enforcement. Even worse, if someone does get hit, the hospital can be quite far away. One option is having separated bike paths that can be used by pedestrians as well. This works fine if there is little ped and bike traffic. In the end, this is likely less expensive than helicoptering people to hospital and patching them up.

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Originally Posted by jlousa View Post
Paying for power line expansion to remote parts of BC would be beneficial to the province as a whole as it would spur economical activity and reduce the tax burden on an individual basis, at least in theory.
An idea worth considering.
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  #1234  
Old Posted Apr 15, 2012, 11:43 PM
cornholio cornholio is offline
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If the bike paths are part of a cycling tourism network, they can really help the local economy. Quebec and many places in Europe have done a great job of this.
Regarding sidewalks, the only other option that people have is walking on the side of the road, which is really dangerous especially on narrow country roads with no lights and little or no speed (or drunk driving) enforcement. Even worse, if someone does get hit, the hospital can be quite far away. One option is having separated bike paths that can be used by pedestrians as well. This works fine if there is little ped and bike traffic. In the end, this is likely less expensive than helicoptering people to hospital and patching them up.


An idea worth considering.
Im all for improving safety but I think you think people are stupid and should walk around wrapped in bubble wrap and helmets, because you know they might trip over something and hurt them selves.

If there is one thing I have learned it is that people are very good at adapting to their environment. If they live in some small town with no sidewalks then they learn how to watch out for cars and not get them selves killed. Just like drivers learn how to not hit people. Its not too difficult. Do people sometimes still get hit? Sure....But monkeys also sometimes fall out of trees. Shit can always happen, put a sidewalk in and the people and drivers get a bit less careless and next thing you know everyone has adjusted their behavior to meet their acceptable risk level again and your back where you started.

But yeah like I said improving safety through improved designs and layouts of roads and sidewalks is good obviously, but just dont assume all initiatives will improve safety. What improves safety is removing or highlighting hazards that people dont often perceive as hazards./rant

As far as taxes go, remote areas use up their fair share of provincial revenues, its not like locating a hospital in a little town, or a school, or having school buses rn around and pick up kids form remote areas every day is free. Same with servicing these places. If you can show that these areas really get short changed then give the people living there a income tax break to even it out.
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  #1235  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2012, 3:04 AM
whatnext whatnext is offline
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Originally Posted by mezzanine View Post
^ Now you're making the 'all my taxes are too high/i don't like how they are spending it/get off of my lawn' argument.
..
No, you're misreading my comments. What I said was: If you want to stoke a tax revolt, do as the BC Liberals did with a water torture of continual increases. Sooner or later it blows up, as it has with the BC Libs who as a result are counting down their last 13 months in power now.
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  #1236  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2012, 3:24 AM
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Im all for improving safety but I think you think people are stupid and should walk around wrapped in bubble wrap and helmets, because you know they might trip over something and hurt them selves.

If there is one thing I have learned it is that people are very good at adapting to their environment. If they live in some small town with no sidewalks then they learn how to watch out for cars and not get them selves killed. Just like drivers learn how to not hit people. Its not too difficult. Do people sometimes still get hit? Sure....But monkeys also sometimes fall out of trees. Shit can always happen, put a sidewalk in and the people and drivers get a bit less careless and next thing you know everyone has adjusted their behavior to meet their acceptable risk level again and your back where you started.

But yeah like I said improving safety through improved designs and layouts of roads and sidewalks is good obviously, but just dont assume all initiatives will improve safety. What improves safety is removing or highlighting hazards that people dont often perceive as hazards./rant

As far as taxes go, remote areas use up their fair share of provincial revenues, its not like locating a hospital in a little town, or a school, or having school buses rn around and pick up kids form remote areas every day is free. Same with servicing these places. If you can show that these areas really get short changed then give the people living there a income tax break to even it out.
Next time read the thread before posting such a ridiculous rant. The discussion was on possibilities on how to better spend carbon tax revenue FROM THE REGION WHERE IT WAS COLLECTED. That sounds fair doesn't it.

People adapting by not walking or cycling is not an acceptable solution. Neither is having people badly injured and having to patch them up. It would be a much better use of taxpayers' money in the first place to create safer places for people to cycle and walk where they at least have some protection from careless and reckless drivers. Note that drivers are already "bubble wrapped" by a bunch of steel, padding and measures such as airbags and seat belts. I suppose you don't like these either. Well, get a heart then.
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  #1237  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2012, 3:39 AM
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No, you're misreading my comments. What I said was: If you want to stoke a tax revolt, do as the BC Liberals did with a water torture of continual increases. Sooner or later it blows up, as it has with the BC Libs who as a result are counting down their last 13 months in power now.
But your argument is the same - 'my taxes are always increasing and it's upsetting to me'.

when would taxes ever decrease in the absence of service or project cuts?

I would agree the Campbell libs did an awful job of getting their tax policy message out and did themselves in with the HST rollout especially. Even though the current tax environment is competitive, even for personal income tax. To their credit, they introduced policies that cost them a lot in political capital but IMO are far-sighted (eg. means-testing pharmacare for seniors).

I'm not sure we'll see anymore ground-breaking ideas from this govt anytime soon.

I would agree that we will likely have a change in govt in the future. Maybe they will change TL governance and funding, hopefully for the better.

If we do have a chg in govt, dollars to donuts we will see that increase to income tax that you are hoping for - we'll see if that will solve long-term funding issues for TL.

Last edited by mezzanine; Apr 16, 2012 at 4:11 AM.
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  #1238  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2012, 3:57 PM
twoNeurons twoNeurons is offline
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80-90% of Canadians live in urban areas. Urban areas with some sort of public transit. The 10% that don't can keep their Carbon tax and the local municipalities can use it as they wish.

Many of our smaller towns are deteriorating as young families leave. Look to the ailing Japanese countryside to see the future of many industrialized countries. Lots of old people, not much help to keep the towns going.
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  #1239  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2012, 7:38 PM
tybuilding tybuilding is offline
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Originally Posted by racc View Post
If the bike paths are part of a cycling tourism network, they can really help the local economy. Quebec and many places in Europe have done a great job of this.
Regarding sidewalks, the only other option that people have is walking on the side of the road, which is really dangerous especially on narrow country roads with no lights and little or no speed (or drunk driving) enforcement. Even worse, if someone does get hit, the hospital can be quite far away. One option is having separated bike paths that can be used by pedestrians as well. This works fine if there is little ped and bike traffic. In the end, this is likely less expensive than helicoptering people to hospital and patching them up.


An idea worth considering.
Having bike paths in towns is worth supporting. Biking on the main highways suck in some of the small towns. My in laws live in Vanderhoof. It is only 2.6 km into the centre of town but the only way there is the highway. Cycling on the highway isn't great even with the 50 km/hr speed limit on the 4 lane road with shoulders but no sidewalks. In town the highway has no shoulders at all but has rough sidewalks. Not very inviting for cycling. A multi-use path would go a long way there.

Last summer I drove though Norway. There the country highway routes also go though towns, but didn't have any shoulders. So now there is a program to add multi-use paths that people can walk, bike or ride horses on. Paths start at one end of town and end at the other end of town. Many towns in BC could benefit from this sort of infrastructure as often the highway is the only route connecting outlying development with local street routes.

I think the carbon tax funding infrastructure like this across the province would be a good program to support.

As for Surrey, I am very disappointed to see the B line bus and the Highway 1 bus expansion likely on the chopping block. I can't believe we are spending $3 billion on a new bridge and expanded highway with promises for Rapid Bus or even LRT when the project started only to see the service get axed 1 year before completion? Pure broken promises. Part of the toll should pay for the additional money that is needed to operate rapid bus service to the bridge. At least enough to cover any additional funding over what additional fares would bring.
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  #1240  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2012, 8:54 PM
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Originally Posted by tybuilding View Post
Having bike paths in towns is worth supporting. Biking on the main highways suck in some of the small towns. My in laws live in Vanderhoof. It is only 2.6 km into the centre of town but the only way there is the highway. Cycling on the highway isn't great even with the 50 km/hr speed limit on the 4 lane road with shoulders but no sidewalks. In town the highway has no shoulders at all but has rough sidewalks. Not very inviting for cycling. A multi-use path would go a long way there.

Last summer I drove though Norway. There the country highway routes also go though towns, but didn't have any shoulders. So now there is a program to add multi-use paths that people can walk, bike or ride horses on. Paths start at one end of town and end at the other end of town. Many towns in BC could benefit from this sort of infrastructure as often the highway is the only route connecting outlying development with local street routes.

I think the carbon tax funding infrastructure like this across the province would be a good program to support.

As for Surrey, I am very disappointed to see the B line bus and the Highway 1 bus expansion likely on the chopping block. I can't believe we are spending $3 billion on a new bridge and expanded highway with promises for Rapid Bus or even LRT when the project started only to see the service get axed 1 year before completion? Pure broken promises. Part of the toll should pay for the additional money that is needed to operate rapid bus service to the bridge. At least enough to cover any additional funding over what additional fares would bring.
I agree with you. My grandparents live in a small village called nakusp its only a like a little over 1500 people there yet they have a few multi use paths. Infact one is along the lake there. It would be nice for them to be able to get money come in to put towards upkeep of it
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