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B.C. budget 2019 in 5 minutes

Let’s face the facts: you’re probably too busy to read an 18-page document on this year’s submission on the 2019 B.C. budget.

But that’s okay: we’re here to help.

This quick read will give you enough information to understand what we submitted for the 2019 B.C. budget.

The overall picture

Survey data shows that 88% of B.C. CFIB members do not believe the current provincial government understand the realities facing their business. That statistic sets the tone for the submission: we need a better small business lens on any new policies that could impact our economy.

3 Priorities

  1. Fix the Employer Health Tax
    Tabled in the 2018 February budget, this new tax will cost businesses $1.9 billion a year. The intention of the tax was to replace the MSP (Medical Service Premiums) by taxing the payroll of entrepreneurs – however, the tax is deeply flawed. The threshold for exemption ($500,000 in annual payroll) is far too low and will unfairly target small businesses while discouraging them from growth.
  2. Hit pause on the Speculation Tax
    Two out of every three of our members across B.C. oppose the provincial government’s Speculation Tax. With enabling legislation expected this fall, the Speculation tax will be applied on properties which are not the primary residence of the owner and are not occupied by a tenant for at least half the year. We have already seen a major chill go through the home building and tourism sectors, especially in places like the Okanagan – it’s time to go back to the drawing board on this tax.
  3. Reduce red tape
    The B.C. government’s commitment to the one-for-one (if a new regulation is introduced, one must be eliminated) rule will be expiring in the New Year, and we’re determined to see it renewed. Reducing red tape has always been one of our top priorities. In fact, 86% of business owners support legislating the cap of provincial regulations through the one-for-one rule.

Along with these priorities, there’s lots of other asks such as:

  • Slowing down the minimum wage hikes to $15/hr
  • Introducing a PST tax credit
  • Introduce a maximum cap on what businesses pay compared to residents in property taxes

If you’re interested in reading the full report with all our recommendations, you can do so by clicking here.