FORT LANGLEY (NEWS1130) – Not all businesses in Metro Vancouver will be supporting the proposed congestion-improvement sales tax.
The Fort Langley Business Improvement Association will be campaigning against it for two reasons.
Association president Eric Woodward says because of Fort Langley’s proximity to the border and Abbotsford, locals will opt to shop elsewhere to escape the new tax. The proposed 0.5 per cent sales tax will only apply to goods in Metro Vancouver.
“It’s the weekly shopping run that is already occurring here in Langley to evade the gas tax. So now there will be another incentive to go to Abbotsford to do your weekly shopping run where you might spend two or three hundred dollars to purchase a week’s worth of supplies.”
Plus he points out there will be costs associated with having to collect the new tax. Retailers will now have to file an additional tax return.
“And some of our merchants are starting to research the cost to upgrade their Point of Sales terminals and it’s going to be significant – upwards of $10,000.”
Groups that represent businesses like the BC Chamber of Commerce argue it’s in the best interests for the commercial sector to back the tax, in order to improve the movement of goods in the region.
But Woodward feels improvements could be achieved on a project-by-project basis. He says, for example, a new Pattullo Bridge could be paid for with tolls.
Metro Vancouver residents will receiving their referendum ballots in the mail in March.