The Union of BC Municipalities Conference (UBCM) is taking place this week, where we will be meeting with Mayors and Councils from across the province to discuss important issues and topics relevant to you and your business.
We have reviewed the resolutions for this year’s conference, and want to share with you some of the topics that may have potential repercussions for small business. Whether these resolutions get put forward matters, as they have the ability to shape the future of British Columbia.
Family Day: All other provinces celebrate this holiday on the third Monday in February. However, BC does not. It is recommended that a public consolation be held to move family day to the same day.
- We are sure you are aware that employees often ask for time off around provincial holidays. Aligning the holiday will allow employees to coordinate travel plans with family members out of province. This is good news for you, as it will simplify accommodating for schedules around Family Day.
Property Tax Transfer (PTT) for Homelessness and Affordable housing: Homelessness and housing affordability are well known issues in BC. The motion proposes that a defined portion of revenues from PTT go towards a reserve to help combat these issues.
- While these are undoubtedly large concerns in BC, the resolution has no clarified plan on how the money will be spent. Targeting these issues requires thorough planning with good policy. There is underlying concerns that this may just be another money grab, as governments continue to dig deeper into your pockets.
Restoration of Land Value Tax: It is argued that land value taxes can be a mechanism which encourages people to improve their properties while discouraging people from holding vacant properties. This resolution proposes that municipalities be given the authority to introduce such a tax as they see fit.
- This resolution is just another tax that will be put on land owners, which may include you! Piling costs on top of landowners is not a fair way to approach land valuation, especially in an economy struggling with affordability.