TransLink vehicle levy proposal just won’t die

VANCOUVER, B.C. — TransLink released a report yesterday that blasted the former B.C. NDP government for killing the vehicle levy it had promised to legislate.

Now the transit agency is appealing to the Liberals to reconsider allowing the vehicle levy, which was killed after public outrage.

Auditor General, Wayne Strelioff, issued the 70-page report that reads “To collect the vehicle levy, TransLink needed the support of the provincial government. This support the government gave initially, but later rescinded.”

The report went on to say the NDP passed legislation authorizing the Insurance Corp. of B.C. to refuse access to car insurance to motorists who refused to pay the levy.

Premier Gordon Campbell was quick to seize the opportunity to criticize the former government, but he wouldn’t reveal whether or not the vehicle levy would be reconsidered.

“Nobody wants to add new taxes. If there is, we expect that there will be a region-wide referendum,” Campbell tells local media.

TransLink chairman George Puil hinted to local media that if another levy is proposed, it will likely be significantly less than the $75 per vehicle originally requested.

TransLink can’t legally run a deficit, but the troubled transit body is facing a $32 million budget shortfall for 2002.

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