The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is sounding the alarm over the risk of sky-rocketing salaries for TransLink executives, in the wake of tax hikes for drivers and homeowners.
“These TransLink salaries could spiral out of control, based on these newly approved ranges,” said Kris Sims, B.C. Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. “The CEO could get a 26 percent pay hike all while TransLink taxes are being jacked up.”
“Why are the people who are running a regional bus board in Metro Vancouver getting paid more than the Prime Minister of a G7 country, the premier of our province, and potentially soon more than the head of New York City’s transit system?” questioned Sims.
In 2018 TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond was paid $410,085 plus a pension contribution of $40,256. Now that a new range for executive salaries has been approved, the board could decide to pay him up to $517,443.
The transit boss for New York City, with more than seven million riders per day, gets a salary of $325,000 USD, or $433,033 CDN. TransLink ridership in Metro Vancouver hit an all time high last year with just half a million riders per day.
Metro Vancouver frequently has the highest gas prices in North America and the tax burden caused by TransLink’s gasoline tax is a big reason why.
The TransLink Tax is 18.5 cents per litre, costing a commuter family in Langley about $676 per year to fill up their minivan, just in the TransLink Tax, not including the property or parking taxes that go to TransLink. If the family has two vehicles, that pump cost easily clocks over to more than $1,000 per year in just the TransLink Tax.
“Average working people, commuters and property taxpayers in Metro Vancouver are footing the bills for these huge salaries and they have no say in the matter,” continued Sims. “These CEOs never need to face a voter; they rarely see turnover around their boardroom table, and yet their salaries are still paid by taxpayers and commuters – we need more common sense and accountability.”