Poll finds lukewarm support for funding transit with PST hike
A slim majority of Metro Vancouver residents support the tax hike proposed in next year’s transit referendum, according to a new poll.
Insights West pollsters found 52 per cent of respondents in favour of voluntarily increasing the provincial sales tax by 0.5 per cent to fund $7.5 billion in regional transportation projects, including the Broadway SkyTrain line and a new Pattullo Bridge.
Spokesman Mario Canseco said most of the support was tepid, however, with only 18 per cent firmly in the Yes camp.
“At this early point in the campaign, there are more voters who are siding with Yes, but most of this support is unenthusiastic,” Canseco said in a statement.
The No side saw 39 per cent overall support, with 24 per cent certain they’ll vote against higher taxes.
Nine per cent of respondents said they’re either not sure or don’t plan to vote in the mail-in referendum.
Insights West conducted the poll from Friday to Sunday, starting one day after the TransLink mayors’ council approved the wording of the question.
Pollsters said support was strongest among young people and those who take transit, bike, or walk, and lower among drivers and people who voted for the BC Liberals in the last provincial election.
Yes voters were primarily motivated by the need to address traffic, transit and road problems in the region, while most of the No camp expressed doubts that TransLink will implement the projects well.
“Two-thirds of No voters are unwilling to provide more funds to the corporation without knowing more about their current expenditures,” Canseco said.
Alternative methods of paying for the transportation projects, including a vehicle levy or hikes to property tax or gas tax, saw less support than the PST increase.
Residents of Metro Vancouver will be the only ones voting on the referendum, and the tax increase would only apply to that region.
Insights West polled 601 Metro Vancouver adults who are company panel members. The results have a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.