A detail from the cover of our 2013 draft supplemental plan.
Heads up: TransLink has put together a draft supplemental plan for 2013, to remove a time-limited property tax that is part of our current funding.
Feel free to read through the draft plan now—and head to that same link from March 1 to March 15, 2013 to share your comments on the plan. Tell your friends!
The background on this plan
So why are we doing this? In 2011, the Mayors’ Council approved a two-year, time-limited property tax until a new, sustainable funding source could be found. This tax was part of our Moving Forward work plan for 2012 onward.
However, a new funding source was not identified and the Mayors’ Council has signaled to TransLink that they don’t want the time-limited property tax implemented in its setead. We’re responding to the Mayors’ request by putting forward a supplemental plan, which removes the time-limited property tax assumed in the 2013 base plan.
The supplement plan will address the removal of $60 million in total in 2013 and 2014. As well, to remove the property tax from being drawn in 2013, the supplemental plan must be prepared by March 31, 2013 and approved by the Mayors’ Council before May 1, 2013.
What are the impacts of removing this tax?
The answer to this question and more are in the Supplemental Plan page FAQ. Here’s a snippet though:
Without this additional funding, will my service be impacted?
We have been focused on operating efficiently and cutting costs. This has allowed TransLink to remove the time-limited property tax while maintaining existing services and implementing the projects outlined in the 2013 Base Plan. However, we will not be able to further expand the system at this time and will need to continue to manage ongoing financial risk.
What’s a supplemental plan?
To back it up all the way: a supplemental plan has to do with how we develop our work plans every year.
First, by law, we are required to come up with a base plan every year, outlining our work for the next three years, plus an outlook on services for the next seven years. In this plan, we have to describe exactly how we’ll pay for the work we’re planning to do and where the money will come from—which is why funding sources like property tax and such keep coming up year to year.
However, if we want to change something about this base plan—to expand, for example, or to change our funding sources—the law says we need to come up with a supplemental plan to amend the base plan.
This supplemental plan then must be approved by our Board, reported on by the Regional Transportation Commissioner, and approved by the Mayors’ Council.
And of course, there’s more on this on the main Supplemental Plan page.
So what’s next?
Your feedback is next! Give us your feedback on the plan, then we’ll incorporate it into the plan and present it to the Mayors’ Council in late March. It’s up to the mayors then to decide whether to approve or not.
I’ll have more info as it comes! Feel free to ask questions below.