B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson at his legislature office, Oct. 4, 2019. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

B.C. Liberals call for more COVID-19 business tax relief

Andrew Wilkinson urges sales tax ‘holiday’ for 60-90 days

The B.C. government has given businesses an extension until Sept. 30 to remit sales, fuel and tobacco tax revenue they collect as they struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic, and the B.C. Liberal opposition wants that effort extended.

The province should provide “a 60-to-90-day holiday” on provincial sales tax, hotel tax and employer health tax imposed on business, B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson proposed in a letter to Premier John Horgan May 5.

Wilkinson’s “B.C. is Back” economic plan calls for additional relief for commercial rent for retailers, in addition to the federal program recently announced, and an increased tourism marketing budget and a rural B.C.-specific strategy to recover from the long shutdown due to the coronavirus restrictions on movement and travel.

“The challenge in front of us may well be more difficult than fighting the virus itself,” Wilkinson wrote. “We are now in a deep recession, hundreds of thousands of people are out of work, businesses are in peril, and students are likely not back in school until the fall.”

Wilkinson’s proposal comes as Horgan prepares his government’s strategy for reopening the economy, to be presented May 6.

RELATED: B.C. announces $5 billion relief fund for COVID-19

RELATED: B.C. cuts business school tax, lets local governments run deficits


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