During the last week of September, the City of Vancouver hosted the 2019 Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) Convention: an event attended by nearly all local government and provincial government officials. We were able to meet with some key stakeholders, including some MLAs (Members of Legislative Assembly) and raise your concerns.
There were three main issues we raised:
1. Payroll taxes
- BC has the second highest payroll tax costs in Canada (coming second only to Quebec!) largely due to the Employer Health Tax (EHT) https://www.cfib-fcei.ca/en/bc-new-employer-health-tax
- We’re asking the government for short term relief (e.g exempting youth, fully graduating the tax so it’s not as complicated to calculate) from the EHT, and make a longer term plan to entirety phase-out this aggressive tax
2. Property Taxes
- Our survey data shows 55% of small business owners like you have considered close or moving due to property taxes and/or lease costs in Metro Vancouver
- We ask that the province work with the small business community and municipalities to create policy to lessen the burden of property taxes on small businesses specifically
CFIB gained media attention this week regarding property taxes and an important resolution was passed at UBCM. We are lobbying hard to get real tax relief in 2020.
3. WorkSafe BC and Employment Standards
- The current WorkSafe BC review is biased, and you deserve better than this. The province must reject the review’s proposals, as they have neglected to properly consult with the business community and could cost the system massively. CFIB and 45 other business groups are boycotting this review, learn more here
- We had part one of the provincial changes to Employment Standards, but now we may be facing part two – and the second act may be much worse. We’ve warned the province and MLAs that businesses are still adapting to the first set of changes. We need to hit the brakes before even considering more changes!