Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Plebiscite lacks integrity

A plebiscite over any issue in which all the facts are not on the table lacks integrity.
A plebiscite over any issue in which the terms/conditions change during the “voting period” lacks integrity.
A plebiscite which relies on, but has not confirmed, financial contribution from other levels of government lacks integrity.
A plebiscite which takes proportionally more funds out of the pockets of the poor lacks integrity.
A plebiscite which unevenly funds only one side of the issue with public funds lacks integrity.
I therefore conclude that TransLink’s plebiscite, clearly lacking integrity, should be voted down.
Corrie Kost, North Vancouver


Anonymous said...

I haven't received my voting papers yet. I wonder what happens to the people in Deep Cove who had their mailboxes broken into. Do they have to do a lot of work to be able to vote in this plebiscite?

Anonymous said...

The government shouldn't have even gone the rout of a plebiscite. They should have done their job and made this decision. Foisting the job on the electorate is an irresponsible, withdrawal from their responsibility.

Anonymous said...

ElectionBC carefully crafted this Question:

Do you support a new 0.5% Metro Vancouver Congestion Improvement Tax, to be dedicated to the Mayor's Council transportation and transit plan?

ElectionBC then permitted the Mayor's Council to place an advertisement ON the ballot paper via a half page of advertising.

Anonymous said...

The whole thing is a farce!

Anonymous said...

Korrie can conclude whatever he likes. If we don't pay by sales tax we will pay by property tax. Point is we still pay.

This plebiscite is not requesting public approval for future transit spending. The unelected board has already decided that we will pay.

We are only permitted to express if we want to pay through additional sales tax or not. If not, then fine. They will get the funding through other taxes.

As far a plebiscites go Canadians are a bone lazy bunch of whiners. A tiny portion of the electorate even bother to vote candidates into office. Once that is over and done they don't want to be involved until the next election. Boohoo. I like political engagement. As the public pays for services from time to time it is refreshing to have the opportunity to say how you want to pay. Go plebiscites.

It would be really wonderful if this plebiscite asked different real questions like, "Do you want the provincial government to take over all public transportation responsibility?" If not, "Do you want an elected transit board?" or "Do you want expanded transit and are you willing to pay more tax for those improvements?" Now that would be a plebiscite that really engages!

Getting exorcised about this plebiscite is a tempest in a teapot as it really doesn't matter. If you don't pay with your left hand you will pay with your right hand but, above all, you will pay.

Anonymous said...

Why don't the developers who have truly deep pockets pay for the infrastructure needed to facilitate their highrises?

Anonymous said...

If the developers pay for it, that cost simply gets transferred to the purchase price. If you don't think real estate is already expensive, it certainly will be if your idea is implemented.

Anonymous said...

So what is your solution? Why should DNV residents continually have to pay money to support the densification that does nothing for them?

The Metro group is somehow cultish We do not have to accept 1 million people into our community in the next ten years. And what is unfortunate here is that the media is complicit in this supposed fact that a million more people will have to move here in the next 10 years.


Anonymous said...

You make an interesting point. The Translink Yes ad starts out telling us that we must vote yes because 1,000,000 more people will be living here soon.

So that means that we have to pay extra to accommodate their arrival? Hmmm...

Can't really think why current residents want more population and higher density at all.

The only benefit is to developers, realtors and politicians.

So don't allow additional housing, splitting of lots and population growth and keep transit costs as they are.

Of course that won't stop the Transit people from funnelling extra taxes whether or not they win the upcoming vote but it still is a valid big picture consideration.

Anonymous said...

How about the last million that showed up being billed for the next million?

Anonymous said...

Explain how exactly you will stop people from moving here?

Anonymous said...

Governments cap our existing housing pool and place a moratorium on expanding it.

No place to live = don't move here.

Anonymous said...

That'll drive prices even higher than they are. Additionally, it'll never fly. No homeowner is going to buy into the government telling them that they can't subdivide or add a suite. People will continue to move here and your proposal won't stop it.

Anonymous said...

You are right on every point.

Of course it would drive prices higher.

We were discussing increasing density and the distaste for existing residents to pay higher taxes to facilitate additional future residents.

I expect you are also right that homeowners want to be able to subdivide and add suites. Also, politicians will create additional high density multifamily dwellings in search of more tax revenue. Realtors and developments will have a hayday. If that is the case then more new living accommodation will be created and more people will live here. Then you will be whacked with higher taxes.

Yes my plan would work perfectly if approved by a majority that tell us that they don't want higher density and higher taxes. I completely accept that there likely wouldn't be a public acceptance of such draconian measures.

Point being, the public sheds crocodile tears. They want it both ways and the hard truth is coming home to roost. Two choices.

1. Reside in a less liveable higher density region with ever growing pressures on parking, shopping, schools, all government services, parks and recreation and pay higher taxes for the privilege; or

2. Cap growth and tell the politicians that we have all the density that we can handle.

Both have pain. Pick one. We won't get something for nothing.

Anonymous said...

Okay, so you stop growth. Then what? Increased demand on existing housing stock (because this is a desirable place to live) drives up the cost of real estate. This means that property assessments increase and with those increases come higher and higher property taxes. At which point do these taxes get too high and force you to sell and move someplace else? Are you prepared to raise the drawbridge and price yourself out of your own community?

Anonymous said...

Now you get it.

Lets say it plays out just as you have expressed.

Just one twist.

It is a common mistake to think that property taxes just keep rising because property assessments keep rising.

Property taxes are established by the municipality setting a mill rate. Therefore your assessment may increase and your taxes will be adjusted by reducing the mill rate until the cost of providing gov't services equals the taxation required.

The services that are provided are those that satisfy the majority of voters. The taxpayers can elect people who will lower taxes. Get a majority on council and you are on your way. HOWEVER, that tax reduction will absolutely come at the cost of reduction of services. Closing libraries, reducing police and fire capability, leaving old sewer lines and water mains in place and they will rupture more often, don't fix potholes and sidewalks. Don't maintain parks,gardens, trails. Don't take on more cost on bike trails in the woods and on it goes.

The cost of maintaining services just as they are now, without any increase in service will increase as the negotiated salary and benefits of staff and cost of products (asphalt, concrete, lumber, bark mulch, sand etc) increase. The key point here is that you don't add in new taxes for additional or new services as that will make your taxes go wild.

I expect the day to come when tax exhaustion will trump the endless clamour for "more". Are artificial turf playing fields at the cost of millions for installation and replacement really necessary? Do we need subsidies to sports teams, daycare, churches? Is it crucial that bulges are installed at the corners of streets? Does the cost of bike lanes really offset their usefulness or could people just ride along the side of the road like they did for the last 70 years?

Hard questions but the day is coming that we have to wonder if we need new initiatives and more people or could we just get along with what we have?

Anonymous said...

Wrong question. There are many municipalities in Canada, and in B.C. in particular who do not have intense densification, no high-rises, no traffic problems, and no outrageous hikes in property taxes.

Why is it that these municipalities can function very well, thank you, without the input of high-end developers?

Anonymous said...

Examples? And how they compare to metro Vancouver?

Anonymous said...

Sorry right questions. The questions are appropriate for large urban/suburban municipalities.

Comparing the little towns and villages to the largest city in BC is comparing apples and oranges.

Having said that, there is much to be said for the little villages. Worth considering relocation.

Anonymous said...

To anon 1.36; great suggestions, given that the proposed tax increases for the City of NVan are 3.9 or 6.4 or 7.9. The 2 districts will have it good - 1.6 and 2.5.

Anonymous said...


I wonder if you might define your comment and explain the mill rate.

Anonymous said...

PA carnival at the Waterfront and how much has the
City spent on studies of this site, over the years.
All this density and no new recreational centre.
Now is the time with low interest rates.

Really waterfront plans have gone from Ferris Wheel,
Swimming pool barge.aquarium, skating rink( outdoor use
Max.4 months of the year)
What does one believe?

if the City ran on a budget, no need for a 3.9per cent
property tax hike

Residents are losing wonder it is a NO for
Trans Link

Anonymous said...

Take the 40 some odd million in surplus and build the rec center otherwise give the 40 million some odd back to the taxpayer instead of playing the extremely compassionate loan shark for the LEC

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:03

Mill rate explanation.

Anonymous said...

Look.. put the ferris wheel in the swimming pool.. then get Mussatto to be the first passenger.

Problem solved.