Letter: Concern over B.C. personal tax exemption

This increase of 400,000 people [no longer paying B.C. income tax] in 14 years is not something for a government to brag about…

To the editor:

MLA Letnick’s column: Province Exercising Fiscal Discipline, March 6 Capital News, lists a statistic that is a concern.

As noted by other letters to the editor (Monika Hudecova, March 4 and Bruce Gajerski, March 6) the provincial government for the second year in a row has reduced all of the basic personal exemption amounts. The provincial government, in reducing personal exemption amounts for a dependent spouse and dependent children, to exercise “fiscal discipline” is shifting more of the tax burden onto B.C. families.

Letnick’s column states that since 2001 “an additional 400,000 people no longer pay any B.C. provincial income tax.”  What this implies is that 400,000 additional people are now living with a taxable income of less than $9,869. For families the maximum taxable income to pay no provincial tax is: dependent spouse $18,319; plus a dependent child $26,769; two dependent children $35,219.  Note these amounts assume applying only the basic personal exemption amounts and no other non-refundable tax credits.

This increase of 400,000 people in 14 years is not something for a government to brag about, particularly when this same government is reluctant to provide substantive increases to B.C.’s minimum wage.

T. Kinsman, West Kelowna