TransLink’s board on Monday approved a tax rate reduction geared to ensure most homeowners don’t pay any more than they did last year.
The 21 per cent cut in the rate means homes that rose an average 25 per cent in assessed value will pay slightly less in property tax to TransLink in 2007. For a home now worth $600,000 this year’s bill will be $231, down about $4.
Many businesses will pay more, however, because their rate will go down by only 11.6 per cent.
A legislated formula ties changes in the business or industrial rates to the residential rate change.
TransLink says that limits its ability to adjust tax rates and has asked the province to grant it more flexibility.
Without the rate cuts TransLink would have captured a $50-million windfall.
TransLink to hear about its future
Monday may have been the last meeting for TransLink in its current incarnation, but TransLink chairman Malcolm Brodie refused to speculate about what may emerge from the province’s plans to revamp the authority.
The announcement is expected later this week, laying out the long-awaited findings of a three-member review panel on TransLink’s governance along with transportation minister Kevin Falcon’s decision on how the structure will change.
“Now it’s time for the provincial government to outline their vision and it’s going to have to be a very dynamic and bold vision,” Brodie said.
In addition to permanent improved funding to expand the region’s transit system, he said two other factors are critical for the future.
“We have to have a board that is going to be accountable to the people, because the amount of money that is involved here is considerable,” Brodie said.
And he also said TransLink needs to continue to work closely with the Greater Vancouver Regional District to plan for population growth because transportation and land-use planning are tightly inter-related.
“It’s important to have a very close link there,” he said.
Brodie said the authority will carry on “business as usual” until its role changes.
big rig digs on
Work on the Richmond-to-Vancouver Canada Line passed a milestone last week.
The 400-tonne tunnel boring machine finished its first run under False Creek and broke through into daylight last Thursday at the future Vancouver City Centre station downtown.
It will continue digging northward until late April, when the first tunnel is finished and it will be returned to the south side of False Creek to begin work on the second tunnel for the $1.9-billion rapid transit line.
The 86-metre-long machine has more than three dozen cutters on its front face, which slowly rotates and advances five centimetres per minute.
A similar machine is at work drilling two tunnels that will carry water between the Seymour and Capilano watersheds as part of the GVRD’s $600-million water filtration plant there.
by Jeff Nagel