Health tax take feeds government addiction
Alberta got rid of its health tax on January 1, 2009 leaving only B.C. and Ontario burdening its citizens with a health tax. We need to jettison this health tax too because, the health tax has nothing to do with health care everything to do with a tax grab that feeds the government's spending addiction.
Getting rid of the health tax in Alberta took money out of the spendthrift hand of government and put it back into the hands of overtaxed families. When Alberta's Finance Minister announced the end of their health tax on January 1, 2009, she said, "these tax changes mean Albertans will have extra money in their pockets at a time when they might need it most. As a result, they will have more money to spend, which in turn, will benefit and stimulate the local economy."
Albertans weren't fooled by the spin surrounding the health tax, and neither should British Columbians. Alberta academics spoke out against the health tax there but we hear nothing from B.C.'s academics. But, just like in Alberta, the health tax take doesn't go into healthcare, it goes into general revenue used by government for spending on white elephants and bloated salaries that leave regular taxpayers with a legacy of debt and higher taxes.
Ontario brought back the health tax and trouble ensued. In his first budget in March 2004, Ontario Premier McGuinty broke his no new taxes promise and brought in the Ontario health tax – the province's single largest tax hike ever. The health tax provides a money crutch for government and stimulates out-of-control spending, which is now at twice the combined rate of inflation and population growth. And guess what? Ontario is now a have-not province. B.C. has been there and has no interest in doing that again.
Rubbing out the health tax in B.C. is even more important because the government plans to feed its spending addiction with increases to the health tax every year. Right now, the health tax takes $1.6 billion per year out of your pocket. Government forecasts a bigger tax grab every year -- $1.7 billion in 2010-11 and $1.8 billion in 2011-12.
The health tax directly impacts a family’s bottom line, has nothing to with health care and everything to do with a tax grab. Governments are addicts and taxpayers must take away their drug. We can't afford to wait. The health tax must go now.