NPA mayoral candidate Suzanne Anton favours carbon, gas taxes over road tolls

Before she will talk about road tolls, the Non-Partisan Association’s mayoral candidate says she wants to see completion of the Evergreen Line followed by a rapid-transit line along Central Broadway.

And Coun. Suzanne Anton said that, if she becomes mayor this November, she will work to resolve the impasse between regional mayors and the provincial government and find a way to get those lines built.

“New taxes are tough,” Anton told the Straight. “I am inclined to think that there is room within the current system to figure out a solution to the transit funding issue.”

Anton said she felt this could be achieved “without putting new, complicated, and expensive taxes in place”.

“I can’t say ”˜without raising taxes’, because it may be a combination of property taxes and carbon taxes, but ”˜without a new form of tax’,” Anton explained. “So having thought about it a bit more, I would be more inclined not to have the road tax for that reason—too complicated and too expensive—whereas a carbon tax and the gas tax might accomplish the same thing.”

Anton claimed the vehicle levy TransLink proposed in 2000, which the provincial NDP government at the time refused to collect, appealed due to it being “straightforward” to implement.

In 2006, Anton, then a TransLink director prior to the board’s restructuring, told the Straight, “I would recommend many minor tolls over quite a few facilities as opposed to bigger tolls over a single facility. But when you bring this up, it’s a tough sell politically.”

Mayor Gregor Robertson did not return a message. In September 2009, Robertson proposed a toll on the Sea-to-Sky Highway as a way to finance a $130-million funding shortfall.




Jun 13, 2011 at 2:06pm

Suzanne: Increasing the gas tax will only send more vehicles over the borders to TransLink-free Abbotsford and WA state.

The NDP made a big mistake (one of many) when they refused to collect the levy instead of suggesting changes to make it more fair. A vehicle levy is simple and can be adjusted based on vehicle fuel economy and insurance class. A small car driven to the store twice a week should not incur the same fee as a pick-up being driven to/from work every day. Combined with carbon and gas taxes the people who drive the most pay the most.

Eventually technology will enable tolls based on route and time of day, but those days are not here yet.

10 7Rating: +3


Jun 13, 2011 at 2:49pm

Put a toll on the sea to sky highway, put a toll on bike lanes after all someone should pay for them and raise the fares on transit so it pays for it self. People in cars pat enough already and not everyone can get to work by public transit or by bike.

8 6Rating: +2

Taxpayers R Us

Jun 13, 2011 at 8:18pm

Translink wouldn't be in such constant shit if it implemented a system ensuring transit riders pay.

As it is, all they have been proposing since I first heard the name is more and higher taxes.

Why can't they pull their heads out of their asses and bring their broken system under control? How many $100,000 + execs do they have anyway? What do those people even do, besides proposing higher taxes?

10 9Rating: +1


Jun 14, 2011 at 11:11am

Yay, another Public-Private-Prostate Exam.


All the same, all thieves. Lobster munching thieves, flying around 1st class in jets while telling us serfs that we must pay more for our evil carbon crimes.

7 6Rating: +1

Fan'o Truth

Jun 14, 2011 at 12:33pm

It sounds like Anton was asked to consider a proposal that has a certain cachet in the planning fraternity, but which no one takes seriously, road pricing.

Metro did a very high leve think piece on the subject but never got into anything specific, and for good reason. Metro doesn't want to be tagged with the job of collecting tolls for the use of roads that are now toll-free. And it didn't dare issue a paper stating that road users whose trips start and end within Vancouver or Burnaby or RIchmond or the North Shore should pay any fee for their road usage.

8 6Rating: +2