B.C. Finance Minister Carole James. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

No municipal break for B.C. health care payroll tax

Non-profits, school districts, universities still being considered, Carole James says

Municipal governments will have to cover the costs of the B.C. government’s health care payroll tax, because they can raise property taxes to do it, Finance Minister Carole James says.

The tax is being phased in starting January 2019, as Medical Services Plan premiums are phased out with a 50 per cent reduction taking place at the same time. For municipalities that already pay MSP premiums on behalf of their employees, extra costs for 2019 will have to be covered.

“They aren’t going to get any relief,” James said Monday when asked about municipalities who are looking at raising property taxes.

“We’re still in discussions with charities, not-for-profits, school boards and universities, the groups that don’t have the ability to be able to bring in revenue.”

RELATED: Fraser Valley farmers face payroll tax

The Union of B.C. Municipalities surveyed members as they prepared their 2018-19 budgets and they reported their costs are expected to double between 2017 and 2020 as a result of the payroll tax. The City of Victoria is considering a two per cent increase to cover the extra costs.

The “employers health tax” takes effect in 2019 at 1.95 per cent of payroll for businesses and organizations with payrolls of more than $1.5 million. A lower rate applies for payrolls between $500,000 and $1.5 million, and those below $500,000 are exempt.

The payroll tax applies whether employers pay their employees’ MSP premiums or not. James emphasized that while property taxes may go up, individuals stand to save $800 a year or more if they have been paying their own MSP premiums.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Ladysmith children get behind the wheel for Public Works Day

Ladysmith marked Public Works Day on Thursday with over 600 children getting… Continue reading

Ladysmith author honours late sister in new children’s book

Sarah de Vries disappeared from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside in 1998

Chemainus ‘Mountain Man’ joins search for Ben Kilmer

Kevin Shiell has been putting his extensive outdoor skills to good use

Search for missing Cowichan man moves towards Hill 60

Volunteer searchers are moving westward

Trans Mountain pipeline: How we got here

A look at the Kinder Morgan expansion, decades in the making

WestJet pilot strike averted as parties agree to mediation

Pilots had warned they could go on strike starting May 19

Out of control wildfire prompts restriction around Allie Lake

One of the first large wildfires of the 2018 season is blazing out of control

Passersby help rescue occupants of home as fire breaks out in Courtenay

Coffee run turns into fire rescue for pair of men

Giant beer tanks arrive in new B.C. home city

Molson Coors tanks finish river journey and move to overland trip in Chilliwack

VIDEO: Pipeline supporters rally across B.C.

Langley event one of five held in B.C.

VIDEO: B.C. woman praises burn fund after boat explosion in 1978

White Rock woman was 16 years old when she was left with second- and third-degree burns

B.C.’s Ryan Craig, Vegas Golden Knights chase history

Local product behind bench for expansion team’s incredible championship run

Most Read