For Immediate Release
March 1, 2007
RICHMOND – TransLink must show leadership and axe the current parking stall tax before the release of a provincial review of their board, Richmond City Councillors Bill McNulty and Derek Dang said today.
“Now is the time for TransLink to stand up and show small-businesses around Richmond that they care about the crippling effect of the parking tax by scraping it once and for all,” said Councillor McNulty. “If they’re not willing to show some leadership and take action, perhaps the mandate of Translink itself needs to be reexamined.”
In 2006, TransLink implemented a tax on non-residential parking stalls throughout their jurisdiction despite massive pressure and protests from the small-business community. Once the first assessments went out, it became apparent that the $1.02 per square meter tax (later reduced to $0.78 per square meter) not only applied to parking spaces, but also to right of ways, bicycle racks and landscaping.
“Richmond First has always been opposed to the parking stall tax and now Translink needs to step up to the plate themselves and respond to the concerns of local merchants,” said Councillor Dang. “The added cost hinders commercial business, hurts small-business, and adds overhead that ends up on the bill of the consumer.”
On April 3, 2006, the Ministry of Transportation initiated a formal review of TransLink through the appointment of a TransLink Governance Review Panel. The panel will make recommendations on the appropriate division of roles and responsibilities between TransLink, the GVRD, and the Province over local transportation-related matters, including revenue-raising measures such as the parking stall tax. It will also make recommendations from those discussions on the appropriate size, composition, and appointment processes for TransLink’s Board.
“TransLink knows this is a bad tax and it doesn’t take a report to show them it should be repealed,” said McNulty. “Small-business is the driving force behind jobs in our community, and the parking stall tax is the driving force that puts them at risk of going out of business.”
The TransLink Governance Review Panel report has been completed and is set to be released at any time by the Province.