BC Budget 2018 – What you need to know
“It’s an ambitious budget that is working hard to provide assistance to equity seeking groups, which we can all appreciate. But it’s likely to be hard on small businesses who will see increased expenses – this is concerning because employers already have a significant cost burden. “ - Chris Atchison, President, BCCA
$5.2 Billion in new spending and $5.5 billion in new taxes
1) Increased revenue through new taxes directed at the housing market
- $1.6 billion on new housing units over the next three years ($6.2 billion over 10 years)
- new speculation tax on residential properties of 0.5 per cent in the first year, and go up to 2 per cent in 2019:
- Expanded to Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, CRD, Nanaimo Regional District, Kelowna
- increasing and expanding the foreign buyers tax:
- Starting on Wednesday, the tax will go up to 20 per cent, from 15 per cent
- Expanded to CRD, the Fraser Valley, the Central Okanagan and Nanaimo
- increasing the property transfer tax on homes valued over $3M from 3 to 5%, plus increasing the school tax on those homes.
2) Billions more in spending, focused on education, child care, health and social programs:
- elimination of Medical Service Plan premiums by Jan. 1, 2020
- Payroll tax will be implemented January 1, 2019:
- Businesses with a payroll of more than $1.5 million pay 1.95% on total payroll
- Businesses with a payroll between $500,000 and $1.5 million will pay a reduced rate
- Businesses with a payroll under $500,000 will not pay the tax.
- 2019 small businesses will have to pay both the payroll tax and in many cases pay for their employees MSP premium payments. The tax will take in $1.85 billion starting next year that will make up for loss revenues associated with the elimination of the MSP.
- New affordable child care benefit that will benefit an estimated 86,000 families across the province by 2020. The funding will go directly to licensed daycares with the savings being passed on to parents.
- Pledging $18 million to provide outreach and counselling support for women and children affected by violence
3) Other key actions:
- Freezing fares on all major BC Ferries routes (reducing by 15% on smaller routes)
- Investing $50 million to revitalize and preserve Indigenous languages in the province
- Carbon tax going up $5-a-tonne which works out to about $200 million in revenues for the government
- Hike on tobacco taxes
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