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

Central Okanagan firefighters are battling wildfires across B.C.

Lake Country, Kelowna and Peachland crews are assisting the BC Wildfire Service

Oktopus to headline Music in the Park

The West Kelowna night of music will happen once again this Friday

Long-awaited John Hindle Drive in Kelowna just weeks away from completion

Ministry of Transportation says it plans to have the road open before the start of the school year

Blasting begins at Beachview Drive in West Kelowna

Blasting begins as part of residential development

Updated: RCMP no longer suspect death of Vernon woman is suspicious

West Kelowna RCMP continue to investigate the woman’s sudden death

A first-hand look at hazards facing scooter users

A Salmon Arm reporter tags along on a mobility scooter tour of the city to learn about safety hazards

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Man found not guilty in 2011 drug-related shooting in Shuswap

Judge rules Jeremy Davis couldn’t foresee his companion would kill 24-year-old Nick Larsen.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Hot, dry conditions forces drought rating to highest level on Vancouver Island

The province says Vancouver Island is under Stage 4 drought conditions

Victoria police say explicit calls continue to target women

Over 50 reports of unwanted, sexually explicit calls have come in

Parks Canada has ‘general concept’ in mind for South Okanagan-Similkameen

Minister Catherine McKenna will be providing a further update to representatives in Penticton Friday, August 17

‘It’s like a party in your mouth’

B.C. creator’s Milkshake Burger makes its debut at the PNE

Most Read