Tax policy by trial and error

The MLA report by Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett

I’ve had a lot of people ask me to explain the provincial budget in plain language because they want a clear picture of what to expect.

Starting April 1, everyone in the province is going to pay more through an increase in the carbon tax.

This affects all fossil fuels from gasoline to natural gas. Expect to pay an extra 1.1 cents a litre at the gas pump — each April — for the next four years.

This is going to impact consumers as much as drivers because of the increased cost of transporting everything, including groceries.

People who heat their house with electricity don’t escape either, because hydro rates go up three per cent on April 1 too.

The new Employer Health Tax – or payroll tax — will replace MSP and shift the burden of health care costs from individuals onto private companies, municipalities, school boards, health authorities and non-profit associations.

Anyone with a payroll of $500,000 or more will start paying tax for each person they employ.

If the payroll amounts to $750,000, your organization will be paying an additional $14,625 annually. If your payroll matches the maximum of $1.5 million, an organization can expect to pay an extra $29,250 per year (plus an extra 1.95 per cent of payroll over $1.5 million).

If this sounds like a tax on jobs, you are correct.

The new real estate Speculation Tax is the most controversial. It doesn’t target people who are flipping houses. It’s really an annual property tax increase on empty homes.

It’s supposed to stop foreigners from driving up the cost of real estate, and despite some tweaks by the finance minister to exempt some cabin owners, it still misses the mark on curbing speculation or housing affordability.

The Speculation Tax is disrupting the construction industry in tourism-centred communities like Kelowna who cater to part-time residents with vacation homes – with the exception Whistler for some undisclosed reason.

These are the ‘unintended consequences’ of making tax policy by trial and error.

Just Posted

F350 stolen and smashed into 108 Mile Esso

The weekly police report for the South Cariboo area

What are you hoping for in the upcoming municipal election?

The weekly web poll for the 100 Mile Free Press

Paranormal conference coming to 100 Mile House

Paracon will be a celebration of everything weird and strange

100 Mile House preparing for another Orange Shirt Day

People of non-First Nations ancestry should listen to the stories of First Nations people for reconciliation

Willow MacDonald: candidate for director of Cariboo Regional District Area L

The Free Press interviews Cariboo Regional District Area directorial candidates

Video: Flyers new mascot ‘Gritty’ a bearded, googly-eyed terror

The Philadelphia Flyers unveiled their new mascot Monday, and as one would expect of the team that gave us the “Broad Street Bullies,” he’s far from cuddly.

Edmonton cannabis company revenues more than triples to $19.1 million

Aurora Cannabis revenues more than triple in fourth quarter

B.C. pharmacist suspended for giving drugs with human placenta

RCMP had samples of the seized substances tested by Health Canada

Seattle one step closer to NHL after arena plan approved

Seattle City Council unanimously approved plans for a privately funded $700 million renovation of KeyArena

Harvest Moon to light up B.C. skies with an ‘autumn hue’

It’s the first moon after the autumn equinox

Hockey league gets $1.4M for assistance program after Humboldt Broncos crash

Program will help players, families, coaches and volunteers after the shock of the deadly crash

Canada has removed six out of 900 asylum seekers already facing U.S. deportation

Ottawa had said the ‘overwhelming majority’ had been removed

Appeal pipeline decision but consult Indigenous communities, Scheer says

The federal appeals court halted the Trans Mountain expansion last month

Most Read