METRO mayors correctly, albeit not unanimously, stuck to their guns Thursday and voted not to increase property taxes across the region in order to raise $30 million in each of the next two years to plug a hole in the TransLink budget.
The stop-gap measure would have averaged out to $23 per Metro home. The majority of North Shore single-family homeowners would have paid more since the tax is based purely on assessed property value.
This particular "temporary" tax grab might have been more acceptable to North Shore homeowners and their mayors if they had been promised a share of the raised funds.
But there is no forward-looking plan that includes a SkyTrain link to the North Shore; there is no timeline for the much needed new Seymour Parkway link to the Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Crossing; and there isn't even another tired promise for the now-you-see-it-now-you-don't third SeaBus.
Those plans aren't there because nobody can agree on how to pay for them - or even moderate bus service improvements. The mayors suggested Victoria approve a vehicle levy and carbon tax revenue for transportation improvements. A better idea than property taxes, we believe, but one the Liberals have refused.
They favour a soak-the-rich approach of raising funding for transit or transportation infrastructure via property taxes because the money is collected by the municipalities - who also get the blame for the tax bill instead of Victoria.