Thursday, July 2, 2015

Voters reject Translink tax increase by wide margin

Canada’s first-ever attempt to convince the public to agree to a sales tax for transit financing has ended in defeat.

Lower Mainland people who voted No outnumbered Yes voters, with a margin of 62 per cent to 38, in a vote that turned into a referendum on Translink, the region’s transit authority, and was overshadwed by anti-tax sentiment. Nearly 760,000 people voted in the mail-in plebiscite, giving the vote a turnout of 51 per cent -- higher than turnout for last November’s civic elections.
The No side, largely represented by Jordan Bateman of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, spent only $40,000 on its campaign.
The Yes side coalition, which include most of the region’s mayors, business organizations, labour groups, environmentalists and student associations, spent $5.8-million in cash, which doesn’t count the hours spent by staff or organization directors in working on the campaign.