VICTORIA, B.C. — The B.C. Liberals are considering giving municipalities the power to create their own fuel taxes and collect most of the money collected from traffic fines in their area.
The move may also see municipalities given the green light to develop private sector partnerships for large projects such as road construction.
The announcement came Tuesday at a Vancouver Board of Trade lunch addressing the province’s new “community charter.”
Ted Nebbeling, minister of state for the charter, says the government has yet to determine which new taxes will be allowed.
“There are going to be seven or eight areas where these taxes will be laid in front of you,” Nebbeling told the audience. He went on to say that new sources of revenue for municipalities will consist of 75 per cent of the total traffic violation fines collected by the province, tax money from Crown corporations such as B.C. Rail and clear title to all roads and parks in municipalities.
That would give municipalities the right to shut down a road (previously owned by the province) and sell its rights to a developer, for example.
Another area being addressed by the charter, according to Nebbeling, is the fact that businesses are over-taxed compared to residential properties.
“There’s an imbalance,” he says. “We need to bring some realism back into it, so one sector of the community doesn’t become the scapegoat.”
The charter is currently being drafted up by a council of about 12 municipal and provincial leaders. More news on the report will be released near the end of February.
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