Letters to the Editor

Letter: Province hopes no one notices ‘stealth’ taxes

To the editor:

No provincial tax increases this year? Really? Is that a fact?

Well, let’s be honest, how many people will have noticed the increase in the provincial tax rate in the returns we are just starting to do for 2013? True, the tax rate of 5.06 per cent hasn’t been increased, but did anyone notice the personal tax credit claimed on everybody’s return has been reduced from $11,354 in 2012 to $10,276 for 2013?

So everybody in B.C. who has to pay provincial income tax for last year will be paying an additional $54.54 into the provincial coffers. Not a lot, it’s true, but multiply it by everyone who has to pay income tax to the provincial government and it amounts to quite a chunk of extra money for their coffers.

And if you are claiming the spousal amount, that has been reduced too. The maximum claimable of $10,960 for 2012 has been reduced to $9,746 for 2013. Yet more money for the provincial coffers!

By comparison, the federal personal tax credit has gone up from $10,822 for 2012 to $11,038 for 2013.

Admittedly, the $75 B.C. credit was reinstated last year. But there was no increase in either the amount or in the income threshold for eligibility. So a single person only gets the whole $75 if their income is below $15,000 (or $18,000 combined for a couple) and if their income is as high as $18,750 (or $25,500 for a couple combined), they don’t get a red cent. They must have too much income already, I suppose!

I don’t know how governments calculate the personal tax credit each year, but one would assume it would go up from one year to the next to reflect increases in the cost of living. I have never known it to be reduced before.

But, hey, who will notice if they reduce it from one year to the next? It’s the perfect vehicle for a tax increase by stealth.

Carole Bennett,

Westbank

 

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