BC business groups call for government to drop “job killer” payroll tax BC business groups call for government to drop “job killer” payroll tax

BC business groups call for government to drop “job killer” payroll tax
21 Mar 2018

Business groups in Canada's British Columbia (BC) are calling on the province's government to rethink its payroll tax, describing it as a “job killer”.

Business groups representing retail, restaurants, hotels, construction companies, tourism and small business have written to BC premier John Horgan and finance minister Carole James Tuesday, asking them to withdraw the employer health tax imposed in the New Democratic Party budget, which is due to come into force in January 2019. The tax, which will be imposed on payrolls that are greater than CAN$500,000 (US$382,000), is intended to finance the removal of Medical Services Plan (MSP) payments in 2020.

But the letter said the tax was “double dipping”, and described it as “disingenuous and unfair to taxpayers” for the government to begin charging it while still collecting MSP payments for 2019.

According to the Columbia Valley Pioneer, the letter was signed by representatives of Restaurants Canada, the BC Hotel Association, BC Construction Employers, the Independent Contractors and Business Association (ICBA), Progressive Contractors Association, Retail Council of Canada, The Urban Development Institute, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and Tourism Industry BC.

They point out that the payroll tax comes on top of minimum wage increases totalling 42% since 2011, a forthcoming increase to Canada Pension Plan payroll costs beginning in 2019 and property taxes that are likewise expected to rise as local governments start to cover health care tax costs.

Chris Gardner, president of the ICBA, said: "This tax is a job killer. It came completely out of left field, with absolutely no consultation before it was announced."

 Emma Wooll

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

Business groups in Canada's British Columbia (BC) are calling on the province's government to rethink its payroll tax, describing it as a “job killer”.

Business groups representing retail, restaurants, hotels, construction companies, tourism and small business have written to BC premier John Horgan and finance minister Carole James Tuesday, asking them to withdraw the employer health tax imposed in the New Democratic Party budget, which is due to come into force in January 2019. The tax, which will be imposed on payrolls that are greater than CAN$500,000 (US$382,000), is intended to finance the removal of Medical Services Plan (MSP) payments in 2020.

But the letter said the tax was “double dipping”, and described it as “disingenuous and unfair to taxpayers” for the government to begin charging it while still collecting MSP payments for 2019.

According to the Columbia Valley Pioneer, the letter was signed by representatives of Restaurants Canada, the BC Hotel Association, BC Construction Employers, the Independent Contractors and Business Association (ICBA), Progressive Contractors Association, Retail Council of Canada, The Urban Development Institute, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and Tourism Industry BC.

They point out that the payroll tax comes on top of minimum wage increases totalling 42% since 2011, a forthcoming increase to Canada Pension Plan payroll costs beginning in 2019 and property taxes that are likewise expected to rise as local governments start to cover health care tax costs.

Chris Gardner, president of the ICBA, said: "This tax is a job killer. It came completely out of left field, with absolutely no consultation before it was announced."

 Emma Wooll

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

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