Re: Border tolls eyed to recoup TransLink losses, Dec. 3.
Regarding Eric Doherty’s comment in your article that “there’s a perception that whatever we do needs to be fair, and it’s not fair that people are evading paying their fair share of taxes,” please allow me to comment.
Firstly, the transportation planner needs to familiarize himself with the NAFTA agreement. It’s called free trade for a reason. Canadians can choose to spend their money here or in the U.S. Subtext? A wake-up call for TransLink and retailers; Canadians are sick and tired of being taxed to death by the multiple layers of government and quasi-government – read TransLink, BC Ferries, ICBC, etc.
The Business Council of B.C.’s Jock Finlayson said last winter that “dramatically higher” gas taxes here have amplified the “epidemic” of cross-border shopping. He said “even elimination of the TransLink fuel tax – a far-fetched scenario – would still leave a significant tax disparity due to the B.C. carbon tax and the higher fuel excise taxes charged by B.C. and the federal government, compared to what exists south of the border.”
Doherty goes on to say “people who do this are not the poorest of the poor. If you can afford it, you should pay.”
Perhaps it has not occurred to him the reason most people cross the border to purchase gas and other consumables is they can’t afford to shop in B.C. because of the ridiculous taxes and disparity in the cost of goods.
Steven Hughes, White Rock
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Eric Doherty should think outside the box. Rather than focusing on people who “do not pay their fair share,” why not focus on people “who break the law?”
I suggest bringing back photo radar will provide huge benefits. It will reduce fatalities, lower our associated health-care costs, produce less air pollution, reduce the cost of gasoline, prolong the availability of a non-renewable resource, and will fill the coffers for TransLink.
Calgary alone makes over $40 million/year on photo radar. With the population of metro Vancouver and our penchant for driving fast, how about 10 times that, it’s a win-win all around. What are you waiting for, Christy?
Simon Bergen-Henengouwen, White Rock
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It is a punitive step to impose tax on border crossers, under the pretext of transit funding.
The main question that arises here is why the government remains unsuccessful controlling price hikes. Why do our leaders seem less concerned about discussing with our business community about basic commodities’ prices, which are always shooting sky-high and making life difficult for low-income families?
They must create a situation in which consumers get better deals locally and stop going across the border.
Canadian have been faithfully paying their fair share of taxes – like income tax, sales tax, carbon tax, property tax, house tax, e-toll tax and many more.
There is no need to come up with another tax.
Hanif A. Patel, Surrey