Opinion

EDITORIAL: Tax increase a compliment

The B.C Liberal government’s plans to boost income taxes on business and high-income earners takes a page out of the NDP opposition’s plans, and makes sense.

The NDP plan had called for the corporate tax rate to go to 12 per cent, where it stood in 2008. The Liberals are boosting the corporate tax rate to 11 per cent on April 1.

The provincial government wil also impose a higher personal income tax rate on individuals with incomes of $150,000 or more as of Jan. 1, 2014.

Both of these tax increases are necessary at this time, given the financial shackles the government is in.

The province is claiming it will balance the budget in 2013-14, largely because it plans to sell more than $600 million in surplus property. Given that the real estate market has softened somewhat, that is probably an optimistic figure.

The Liberals will also boost MSP premiums again next year. This is completely unfair to moderate income earners, who do not get the exemption from paying the premiums that goes to low income people. This will be the fifth year in a row the premiums will increase.

This budget is crafted with the May 14 election in mind, and designed to convince wavering voters that the B.C. Liberals are competent money managers. Over the course of the past 12 years, the Liberals have been sound money managers much of the time, but in recent years their record has been more mixed.

The Liberals were hoping for a big boost in revenue through the new harmonized sales tax, but that was torpedoed by voters because of the bumbling way the government brought in the tax. That hurt their reputation as competent managers.

By adopting part of the NDP platform, the Liberals may have unintentionally telegraphed that the NDP too has good fiscal ideas.

 

– Langley News

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