New Year brings huge tax hikes
VANCOUVER, BC: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is warning British Columbians to brace themselves for big tax hikes in the New Year, affecting most of the province through hikes in employer, property, and fuel taxes.
“The Employer Health Tax will have a cascading effect across the province, putting a chill on new hiring and pay raises, and risking property tax hikes from Port Alberni to Prince George,” said Kris Sims, B.C. Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. “This is a huge downloading of taxes from Victoria onto the backs of job creators and municipalities across the province.”
The EHT starts in 2019 and it’s stacked on top of the pre-existing Medical Services Premium, MSP, creating a double dip of taxation on many B.C. employers for the year. Because most cities and towns have a payroll of more than $500,000, their budgets are directly impacted, causing the need for town budget cuts or property tax hikes. The city of Surrey, for example, faces a cost of $4.7 million to pay for the province’s health tax hikes.
Employers with a payroll of more than $1.5 million must pay a tax of 1.5 per cent, while job creators with a smaller payroll pay on a different scale. The official rates and the province’s EHT tax calculator can be found HERE.
Home owners in places such as West Vancouver and North Vancouver with homes valued at more than $3 million are getting hammered with a new “school tax” created by the provincial government. Despite being labelled a school tax, the money goes into general revenue. The rates apply to houses, condos and vacant land and they can be found HERE.
Tax hikes on British Columbians will continue throughout the year, with the carbon tax leaping from $35 per ton to $40 per ton on Apr. 1, 2019. This tacks 8.89 cents on to every litre of gasoline bought in B.C. Drivers
in Metro Vancouver will be paying even more for the TransLink tax in the spring, with the rate jumping from 17 cents up to 18.5 cents per litre of gas. Motorists in the Lower Mainland pay the highest gasoline prices in North America.
To read the federal Canadian Taxpayers Federation New Year’s Tax Changes report, click HERE.