BC Taxes Will INCREASE in February Budget

Premier John Horgan wouldn’t be nailed down.

As valiantly as CKNW talk show host Mike Smyth tried Tuesday, the NDP Leader slipped and slid around … refusing to commit to voters that a re-elected NDP government will NOT raise taxes.

Not that Horgan’s word could be counted on anyway: remember that legislation that supposedly set BC’s FIXED 2021 Election Date; or recall that signed formal support agreement with the BC Greens to avoid an early election call?

At least this time, Horgan didn’t outright lie … like other past politicians have, with their with a “Read my lips” or “There will be NO HST in BC” infamous quotes … and then doing both!

Horgan would only say, over and over again, he has “no intention” of raising existing taxes or introducing new ones and the NDP has “no plans” to raise existing taxes or introduce new ones. (Except for the already scheduled boost in carbon taxes to $50/ton, part of the NDP plan to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050). ).

No taxpayer could or should try to take Horgan’s (or any politician’s “no intention” or “no plans”) commitment to the bank as proof your cost of living will not soon be going up! They’ll laugh you out the door.

Especially when he added that we are, after all, “in a pandemic” … a veiled reminder therefore that anything could change. (You can listen to the full Horgan interview on the CKNW website (https://globalnews.ca/radio/cknw/?gref=cknw ) … using the Audio Vault, Oct 20 at 9 a.m.

Horgan’s words are, I believe, a strong indication that some current taxes/fees/charges WILL indeed be going up if the NDP is re-elected and introduces its 2021-2022 Budget, probably in February.

And watch for NEW taxes too … possibly on inheritances, on homes valued above a certain threshold and road tolling in the Lower Mainland and maybe even substantive vehicle use in other communities.

A major Liberal promise, meanwhile, is to cancel the Provincial Sales Tax for one year and then reintroduce it at only three per cent the following year.

They say they would also scrap the property speculation tax and vacant home/condo tax … and cut business taxes etc.

BUT then they say they will “review all provincial taxes”  after the election.

That’s where YOU come in! No doubt, to pay for all their promises too.

What makes these latest indications of MORE and HIGHER taxes to come all the more appalling is the fact that, on average, British Columbians are already milked by governments for more than half of our annual incomes in federal, provincial and municipal taxes.

Tax Freedom Day in BC, according to the Fraser Institute, is currently June 10. (Nationally it’s June 14; Alberta May 27; Ontario June 11; Quebec June 28). More comparisons here: https://www.fraserinstitute.org/sites/default/files/tax-freedom-day-2019-newsrelease.pdf.

And yet, there are promises, promises, promises … costing BILLIONS of dollars MORE.

And the voters are BUYING it all … literally!

So enjoy Election night, the ballot counting two weeks afterwards, the outcome and then Christmas and New Year 2020.

Knowing full well that YOU will get the bills, starting in 2021.

Harv Oberfeld

(Reminder: Follow me @harveyoberfeld.ca on Twitter for First Alerts of new postings on this BC-based Blog. No spam, just alerts to new topics up for discussion.)

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12 Responses to BC Taxes Will INCREASE in February Budget

  1. harry lawson says:


    Mike Smyth did a hell of a job trying to pin Horgan on many issues , i can understand why Horgan delayed until until the last moment to appear.

    welcome to the BC version of the great depression, factor in all the taxes and user fees from all level of government we will truly be shafted.

    (Response: I didn’t really expect Horgan to admit taxes will go up … NO politician does that. It’s a Canadian tradition: whichever party wins an election almost always increases taxes/fees/charges and cuts services for the first two years …and then, miraculously, says they’ve done such a good job in managing the government/economy they can let up and even hand out and promise more goodies just before the next vote! And many voters jump at the new offerings … knowing full well, they will pay for it ALL down the line. h.o)

  2. Steve Cooley says:

    We imposed a country wide curfew which closed many businesses. We decimated the tourism industry and the thousands of low paid workers it uses to allow the rich to play. Our airlines probably have hundreds of planes parked, meaning tens of hundreds of people are also parked. To do something to help the helpless federally, provincially and to a small extent, municipally we have spend very large sums in subsidies for Jane and Joe Lunchbucket. Normally we only subsidize the entitled.

    Of course we are going to have to repay these loans. Of course the main way to acquire the funds to repay these loans is taxes. Of course some things that were not taxed in the past are going to be taxed in the future. I hope that the tax laws will be changed to acquire these funds from the subsidies we have given to those who do not need them, mainly our oil, gas and mining industries. This year we have subsidized Jane and Joe, next year we need to pay back those subsidies by going to the offshore tax havens and the corporations that have assets in excess of the GDP of many of the world’s smaller nations.

    (Response: You raise an interesting point about subsidies to “those who do not need them, mainly our oil, gas and mining industries.” I’m not current on how that now works, how many industry/corporate subsidies are still in effect and although I share your sentiment, I worry that we don’t want to place OUR industries at a competitive disadvantage against similar operations in other countries where they also get subsidies….maybe even larger ones. But there is something terribly wrong when companies, anywhere, making profits in the millions or billions, pay little or no taxes. That’s outrageous and the world should co-operate to end those loopholes. h.o)

  3. Chuckstraight says:

    There are however, some industries that receive subsidies that in some views, shouldn’t.
    How many realize the tax giveaways to the beef industry.We don,t allow donations from corporations or unions, but we all pay subsidies to the BC Cattleman’s association.

    (Response: Subsidies come in several forms, from direct cash grants to loans to special tax write-offs to one-source contracts etc. I think taxpayers would be shocked at the total cost of corporate subsidies they absorb, while struggling to pay their own bills. But again, supporters of the current system would argue that without it, many businesses, even whole industries could not survive. h.o)

  4. nonconfidencevote says:

    Whats the old saying?
    “Trying to get a politician to answer a direct question is like nailing jello to the wall…”

    Of course Horgan will raise taxes.
    Between the billions in lost revenue and billions more squandered on White Elephants like Site C , ICBC, BC Hydro, BC Ferries, et al.
    This province is BLEEDING money and the only way to get it is through increased user fees, increased taxes and increased enforcement of ByLaws.
    Barking dog? Hunnerd bucks, noisy car? Hunnerd bucks.
    The police and every other enforcement “official” will be on the hunt for scofflaws with money ( ie not Strathcona Park campers)..
    Taxpayers will get it from three directions.
    Federally, Provincially and Municipally.
    1980’s Recession here we come.
    “Hand me that paint brush. The rainbow sidewalk is looking a bit faded…”

    (Response: I just wish we had a more aggressive media … like the REAL BCTV used to be … that would ask TOUGH questions and go after all levels of government over and over reporting on stupid, wasteful projects and spending that I’m sure exist in ALL municipalities. All that takes is a Viewer Hotline and the story ideas would flood in … no need to wait for a press release! h.o.)

  5. Gilbert says:

    Of course taxes will go up. The goal of the NDP is to reduce the gap between rich and poor by making everyone poorer. Their other goal is redistribution of wealth. More of our money will go from us to our wonderful politicians.

  6. D. M. Johnston says:

    Ah, yaa; You bet taxes will rise, both municipally, provincially and federally, to pay for the political excesses of covid-19. Its why Horgan called for the election now, because in 2020 the NDP would be unelectable.

    There is a sad opinion with politicians that taxpayer’s have bottomless pockets, they don’t, so they tax imagined wealth instead, as out house assessments are evidenced of.

    Horgan has promised the moon and the stars for reelection, as have the Liberals and Greens.

    Horgan can’t deliver, not even close.

    What he will deliver is high paid union jobs for mega projects, which in the end cost taxpayer’s dearly. FastFerries are testament.

    The extension of the Expo line to Surrey, will also cost dearly; over $5 billion, because the going on 40 year old Expo Line needs a complete rehab before it can operate more trains. Translink needs another $70 million to cover the annual operating costs of the present $4.6 billion, 12.8 km in vanity SkyTrain projects including a subway under Broadway. Both projects will not attract much new ridership.

    No wonder TransLink CEO Desmond is taking a golden lifeboat and leaving the floundering TransLink, early next year.

    Tax, tax, tax, spend, spend, spend.

    Site C is being built on a foundation of shale, very unstable and needs a few billion more and a few billion more.

    Union jobs you know.

    $10 a day daycare.

    Tax, tax, tax.

    What I see, Horgan is being advised badly by the now disgraced Visonista’s who have turned Vancouver into a dump of high rise condos and towers.

    More taxes.

    Even I am considering leaving the metro Vancouver tax area because the idiots (I use this because it seems once elected, politicians drink the magic water and lose common sense) we have elected have no restraint and are spending wildly, we just cannot afford to live here, nor can my children.

    Either Horgan has a conversion on the reelected road to Victoria, or we are in for a massive regimen of tax and spend, where political cronies benefit and the taxpayer goes bankrupt.

    (Response: When governments take away more than half of what anyone earns, that’s a problem And yet, take a look at all the demands people and organizations make for more, more, more … so politicians happily promise, promise, promise. And then raise taxes again to pay the bills. But does that stop the demands for more? No. And few of those are willing to wait for economic growth to cover the shortfall …or even oppose huge projects that can produce the jobs and revenues to pay for their demands! Amazing! h.o)

  7. Sean Penson says:

    Well, at least we’ll be having budgets provincially; Federally is a different story, and the federal debt level and taxation issues concerns me a bit more.

    (Response: I can see why: the projected federal deficit is $343 Billion … and the debt will hit $1.2 Trillion. An expanding economy (jobs producing income and corporate revenues) can absorb some of that … but no doubt, the feds, whether it will be the Libs or Tories after the Spring election ( 🙂 ) will be looking at taxpayers for a bigger chunk. h.o)

  8. e.a.f. says:

    It is no surprise taxes will go up provincially and we can expect them to go up federally also. governments spent a shit load of money because of COVID. I’m o.k. with that. Now the topic is provincial taxes so I’ll try to stay on topic.

    For 16 yrs we had the B.C. Lieberals and we saw how well that went for the disabled, seniors, children, working poor. Its time to catch up. That costs money. Get over it. No one seemed to be all that “upset” because the B.C. Lieberals gave great deals to “big money”. Lets not forget Christie telling a mine owner he didn’t have to pay his electrical bill, just the interest. How about the lack of fees charged on logs and mining, etc. what that did was defund government. Now its time to fund government and that means we will all have to pay more in taxes. Oh, shock and dismay, but lets keep it real.

    When COVID started we had people dying in senior care homes. How did that happen? Well lets not forgot how they were run, low paid workers, workers going from one care home to another and taking COVID with them. to run care homes properly costs money. paying workers a decent wage so they don’t have to work at more than one facility costs money. So the question is do you want to have more seniors die or pay more taxes.

    Lets get on to the subject of kids living below the poverty line. Are you good with kids not having enough food to eat and living in inadequate housing? Not so much you say. How do you think things will improve for children? Food programs cost money. Increasing welfare and disability rates will cost money. Lets not forget about 10% of those going to food banks actually work full time. they just don’t make enough money to feed their kids. If you’re o.k. with that, well I expect you to oppose increase in taxes. If you’re not its going to cost money.

    Educating children in the time of COVID will not be cheap and neither will be new schools, which we need in some areas. Want children to catch COVID and be in crowded class rooms?

    We did not get to the current drug and homeless situation over night. We got there with 16 yrs. of B.C. Lieberal rule. Addressing those issues costs money. In Nanaimo we have two facilities for the homeless.–like real homes. That costs money. We need more of those facilities. that will cost more money.

    To deal with the continued fent. laced drug supply we need a whole lot more police officers and squads to deal with it. That costs money. If you’re O.K. with a tainted drug supply o.k. you’ll be opposed to tax increases. I’m not O.K. with people dying from tainted drugs. I want those bastards who sell the stuff arrested, charged with attempted murder, and kept in jail for 5 to 10 yrs. (the “big boys” not the street dealers who are usually addicted themselves). We need better drug addiction treatment facilities and we need a whole lot more of them. that costs money. While the B.C. Lieberals were in office not much was done about any of this.

    Ending money laundering is a costly endeavor. A lot more RCMP officers will be required. that means more taxes.

    Pensioners in the province and the disabled have a right to live a descent life. To do so they will need more money. So what is it going to be, keeping the disabled and pensioners living a life of poverty or sending them a larger check each month.

    If you read enough you’ll discover more than a few people in this province can’t afford their medications. If we had a better prescription plan, ya I know that costs money…..

    Now some may believe the government is wasting money or that people working for the government make too much money. Wasting money………….el gordo did it, Christie did it. Do people forget Christie getting rid of the in house laundry facilities in the O.K., closing them and giving a 20 yr contract to a private company not unassociated with her?????

    Salaries for government workers are negotiated and not out of line with those in other areas and lets not forget the cost of housing in B.C.

    Now the big one is Site C. That in my opinion is a waste of money. On the other hand its keeping several thousand people working. On the other hand we could just pay them their salaries, send them home and forget about Site C and save money.

    I’m off to vote, yes, for the NDP, increase in taxes or not. I’m not up for Wilkinson and his gang. Oh, speaking of Wilkinson and wasting money, lets not forget the Speaker’s office and the waste of money there, with the B.C. Lieberals. Wonder what ever happened to that wood chopper.

  9. harry lawson says:

    sorry i am off topic .i know you are followed by many, i really want to send kudos to the EHS call taker , kept me calm . prepared me for chest compressions, we are so fortunate to have such great first responders. dispatchers ect Sad it sucks at the hospital level.

    (Response: Glad you’re well enough again to write. Health care workers …at all levels … in most cases, are often real heroes. h.o)

  10. DBW says:

    I was not going to comment on this thread because it was too obvious. Of course there will be a bill to be paid; if you didn’t think some form of taxation would be implemented, you haven’t been paying attention.

    But reading Harry’s post got me thinking. (uh oh ramble alert).

    I have never needed an ambulance. I hope I never do. But I am more than happy to help pay for Harry’s trip to the hospital (stay well, Harry) because I am part of a community and that’s how communities work. I have also never collected welfare or unemployment, but I am more than willing to help pay for people who need that help because
    a. I recognize how lucky I have been not to need that help and
    b. I am part of a community and that is how communities work.

    So when the provincial and federal governments get around to paying for all the things that were needed to address the pandemic I will not complain because … see a and b above.

    Now what is really pissing me off is watching the nonsense in Ottawa where the largest bill will have to be paid. I was angry at the NDP for calling an election a year early in a blatant political ploy to get four extra years when the polls were favourable. But Ottawa is far worse. And I don’t know if I blame the Conservatives or the Liberals for taking us to the brink of a fall election three years early.

    We are in the middle of a pandemic where cases are spiking just before the flu season will hit and the people in Ottawa are playing partisan games. I had my fingers crossed that things would change as a result of our coming together to battle the virus and in the spring co-operation was there. Not now.

    We have a minority in Ottawa for a reason: the people didn’t see any party being suitable for a majority. We have plenty of problems to address. The pandemic obviously but how to get the economy back functioning during and after the pandemic. How to deal with a transitioning economy dependent on fossil fuels. How to deal with the clear inequities that have been obvious in the past but even more so now.

    Maybe my expectations are too high. I want our governments to work together to solve problems. If they can’t do that without calling an early election (and until the pandemic is under control anything before 2023 is early), then we have a failed system.

    (Response: I …like I hope the vast majority of British Columbians and Canadians have also been exceptionally fortunate and even blessed. And most I’m sure have worked all their lives, paid taxes, given to charities and supported the economy. And yes, we must … and should happily … take care of those who suffer disadvantages and need help. BUT unfortunately, there ARE people who take advantage to the extreme: they had opportunities to go to school, but preferred to hang out; they could work, but prefer to sleep in, still hang out, stay up late; they steal when they can … even from other poor, the elderly, the infirm … and no, they’re not all disadvantaged from dysfunctional families/backgrounds. Let’s keep it real: some people are just lousy: lazy, thieves, thugs, bums who work the system, and even steal from it when they can. The challenge for government is to help those who legitimately deserve it: I’d even give them MORE … that we would have if some of the do-gooders in government stopped being such patsies for those who are milking them, or actually us. For example, I believe Vancouver has a duty to take care of our homeless: NO ONE should be without shelter, unless they prefer it. BUT it is NOT Vancouver’s responsibility to provide housing to everyone who just comes here from elsewhere and says give me an apartment. I wish someone who calculate or the media were brave enough to ask) where are the homeless from??? If they’re from other cities in BC or other provinces, WHY should they expect free housing in Vancouver? And that’s where our current governments are FAILING badly: we are now giving out free apartments in the downtown shopping core no less to the poor, while working people in the same area and nearby have to struggle with two jobs to pay the high rents they endure. PLUS look at all the service agencies now in downtown Vancouver to meet the needs of the down and out. Why right downtown, in the main shopping area???? Take a look at Granville Street from Dunsmuir to the Granville Bridge now … I would NOT advise walking there, even during the day. The City has turned it ,and the adjoining streets into another Hastings/Main subdivision. And I ‘d love to know how many of those hanging out there now are actually from Vancouver and how many are not. Send them home if they’re not! IF we had civic or provincial governments with the guts to do that! Then Vancouver’s housing problems for those locals who legitimately need help would become manageable. And I might even vote for them too. h.o)

  11. hawgwash says:

    “C” will be at the centre of any tax headlines and it won’t be “C”-19.
    Site “C”; wait for it.

  12. Cora says:

    I believe most people would not mind paying taxes if we did not see so much entitlement and waste in our government. Why hasn’t there been a review of their pension system? Why do they get such fantastic severance packages when they choose not to run again? If we decide they are not doing their job and boot them out, do they deserve a severance package. Do they get this package even if they walk into a job the next day? Is there a “watchdog” and if so, is he a politician. I wonder if some of them even know why they were elected. They are supposed to be running the country and doing what is best for all Canadians, not just telling us how great they are and what Canadians want. I am happy to tell you what I want.

    (Response: No doubt politicians reward themselves benefits, increases and pensions far more generous than most of us ever get or dream of: like public contributions up to four dollars for every dollar they put in! Part of the justification for that, they say, is to attract quality candidates (sometimes very high earning individuals in private business, and because political careers can often be fairly short in comparison to normal jobs. I don’t believe severance in public service is tied to whether they find another job, as it is often in private severance deals: good point! maybe they should be …since politicians sometimes get jobs or lucrative board or consultative appointments as soon as they leave office. Just wish they took are of us as well as they take care of themselves! h.o)

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