TransLink gas tax on the table

Following its defeat over the controversial vehicle levy, TransLink has come up with a plan to charge an extra two cents a litre in gas taxes to pay for transit and road expansion on the Lower Mainland.

However, the proposal is not getting a warm reception from the provincial minister responsible for TransLink.

Mike Farnworth says the transit authority needs to do a better job selling the idea of higher taxes. "For anything to go ahead, I think they need to get the public onside," he says, "and if you don't have that, it's going to be very difficult."


Earlier, the government had refused to approve TransLink's proposed vehicle levy, after it ran into stiff public opposition. The new gas tax proposal goes to the TransLink board for a vote on Friday.

TransLink Chair George Puil says he's not holding his breath waiting for an answer from Victoria, not with the election looming. "I don't anticipate either the opposition or the government making a decision tomorrow," he says.

Meanwhile, the Canadian Taxpayers' Federation says drivers in Greater Vancouver already pay 15 cents a litre in gas taxes. That's four cents a litre higher than the rest of the province.

B.C. Director Mark Milke says the provincial government should use existing gas tax revenues to help TransLink.