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

Provincial government needs to fund search and rescue: CRD

CRD board wants NCLGA resolution calling on the province to ensure secured funding is in place for SAR groups

100 Mile House Soccer Association has more players signed up at this point than last season

Overall, the association has 140 kids signed up but the number to beat is 300

100 Mile House and District Council considers immigration pilot program

Over 30 communities will participate in Regional Entrepreneur Immigration Pilot Program

Former 100 Mile Curling Club member to represent province

Hannah Lindner played at the club from 2008 to 2015

100 Mile Bantam House Royals lose 3-1 in final

Last year, the team lost every single game. This year they won all but one.

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Story of Wet’suwet’en Chief Alfred Joseph being told

Song of the Earth on Chief Gisday’wa will be launched in Hagwilget

Houston woman gets two years for aggravated assault

Ewald pleads guilty; trial of co-accused Calvin Dyrland begins in Smithers B.C. court

Fundraising campaign launched for man caught in SilverStar avalanche

In only two days, the GoFundMe surpassed its $15,000 goal

Terror at sea: Helicopter rescues frightened cruise passengers in Norway

The Viking Sky cruise ship was carrying 1,300 passengers and crew when it experienced engine trouble

Search and rescue team helicopters injured climber from B.C. provincial park

A 30-year-old woman suffered a suspected lower-limb fracture in Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park

DOJ: Trump campaign did not co-ordinate with Russia in 2016

Attorney General William Barr said special counsel “does not exonerate” Trump of obstructing justice

Trudeau in Vancouver to support Tamara Taggart at Liberal nomination event

The former broadcaster is seeking the nomination for the Vancouver Kingsway riding

Trudeau calls May 6 byelection for B.C. riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith

The riding opened up when Sheila Malcolmson resigned in January

Most Read