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Oct. 7 deadline for gas tax decision

BURNABY (NEWS1130) – We’ll know Oct. 7 whether we’ll be paying that additional two-cents-a-litre gas tax to pay for TransLink upgrades and projects.

Even if it’s given the nod, TransLink’s Mayor’s Council will still be looking for other ways to get more money. That’s because the two-cents-a-litre gas tax hike will only raise a portion of the $70 million needed.

“The $70 million covers funding for the Evergreen Line, funding for service upgrades for south of the Fraser River and the North Shore, and increases in bus hours throughout the region,” says Langley City Mayor and member of the Mayor’s Council Peter Fassbender.

He maintains the mayors are totally opposed to property tax increases, but he says they have one year to find that extra money.

“If we don’t find other sources, then the fall-back could be property taxes. But the region doesn’t want additional property taxes implemented. We have to roll up our sleeves and find those other sources.”

He says they also need to find money for longer-term projects – a task, he admits, that won’t be easy.

The Mayor’s Council votes on the additional gas tax Oct. 7, then it goes to the provincial government for the necessary legislation.