Monday, December 15, 2014

Why, Exactly, Do We Want Those Amongst Us Who Can Least Afford It To Pay The Most For Transit?


Awhile back I agreed with Vancouver city councillor Andrea Reimer when she said, essentially, that it seems like we don't really want poor people to take transit.

And this morning, when I read her 24 Hrs column, I found myself agreeing with Laila Yuile when she made it clear that it is not fair for us to force the poor, and especially the working poor, to pay disproportionally more to fund the new transit initiatives if the 'referendum' passes:

Let’s face it, for most people tax is a four-letter word. Say it and people scowl as if you’ve said something offensive and inappropriate. However painful it is to hear, the truth is that taxes are a necessary evil. For every level of government, from municipal through to federal, taxes are vital revenue streams that help pay for the services and infrastructure we rely on.

Having said that, I don’t think an increase in the provincial sales tax within Metro Vancouver to fund transit improvements alone is the solution...

{snippety doo-dah}

...I can’t help but feel it’s terribly short-sighted to approach the funding solution for transit on its own when the province is clearly in need of a solid revenue stream for all of these challenges.

While the premier often boasts about our low tax rates, the cost has been steep. What isn’t mentioned is that the series of cuts to both personal and corporate taxes since 2000 created a devastating hole in provincial revenues that has never been adequately replaced. We’ve been left with a regressive tax system that hurts the people who can least afford it - just like this sales tax increase...

I mean, seriously....

Now that we've turned ourselves into Victorian England, why don't we just open a few 'workhouses' where those of lesser means can, essentially, do all of our work for almost free.



I forgot....


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