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The Globe and Mail

TransLink asks for $80-m tax increase to pay for new transit line

No vehicle levy for now. But maybe an $80-million tax increase in 2012.

That's what TransLink's board is recommending to local mayors as the way to come up with its share of money to build the Evergreen SkyTrain line. Otherwise, the region could lose the $400-million the federal government committed to the project.

A letter from board chair Dale Parker going to mayors this afternoon says they have to approve a tax increase by the end of the year so bids and construction can go ahead next year for the new line.

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Mr. Parker is proposing that the mayors agree to a big package of transit projects for the whole region, approve the property taxes needed for them – even though mayors have always said that's a bad idea – and use the next year to try to find another source of money than the $80-million tax increase.

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Urban affairs contributor

Frances Bula has written about urban issues and city politics in B.C.’s Vancouver region, covering everything from Downtown Eastside drug addiction to billion-dollar development projects, since 1994. More

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