B.C. top income tax rate nears 50%, investment taxes highest in Canada

Competing for skilled workers with U.S. states getting more difficult, study says

Increases in top personal income and corporate taxes are making it more difficult for B.C. to compete for highly skilled workers compared to neighbouring U.S. states, according to a new study from the Fraser Institute.

B.C.’s top combined federal and provincial personal income tax rate is 49.8 per cent, applying to income of $150,000 and up. That’s about 13 per cent higher than the rate in Washington and Alaska, neither of which has a state income tax.

“The B.C. government has recently made worse the province’s long-standing tax competitiveness problem with recent hikes to personal and corporate income taxes, payroll taxes, carbon taxes, vehicle taxes and property taxes – all of which make it harder to attract potential skilled workers, investors and businesses,” said Ben Eisen, a senior fellow at the Fraser Institute and co-author of Assessing British Columbia’s Tax Competitiveness.

“B.C.’s tax regime is simply uncompetitive with not only neighbouring U.S. states, but several Canadian provinces.”

The study ranks B.C. ninth highest among provinces and states in North America in the top personal income tax rate. For tax rates on business investment, the survey finds B.C. to be highest among provinces.

RELATED: B.C. health care payroll tax approved, takes effect Jan. 1

RELATED: B.C. Greens MLA questions impact of payroll tax on jobs

The gap is made more significant by major tax changes implemented last year by U.S. President Donald Trump. B.C.’s corporate income tax rate is “in the middle of the pack” for provinces, the study says. But using a measure called “marginal effective tax rate” that calculates the broader application of sales tax to businesses, B.C. goes to the top.

The harmonized sales tax, implemented in B.C. in 2010 and then repealed in 2011 after a province-wide petition demanded it, was designed to make business more competitive by spreading sales tax across more services and lifting it from manufacturing and other business inputs on the way to delivering a final product.

B.C. businesses are now coming to grips with the new employer health tax, a new tax on payrolls of more than $500,000 a year that takes effect as of Jan. 1 to replace provincial revenue from the Medical Services Plan tax. Some businesses are paying both for 2019, with the MSP rate reduced by 50 per cent and eliminated in 2020.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Somenos Marsh viewing tower near completion

October a busy month for the Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society

Andrea Rondeau column: Reckoning coming on vaping

Those producing and selling vaping products have convinced a whole new generation to smoke

Popular Parkrun comes to Cowichan

Shawnigan Hills joins global phenomenon starting on Sept. 28

Midget Bulldogs beaten by North Surrey

Cowichan needs more ‘zip’ in practice

VIDEO: Grizzly bears fight along northern B.C. highway in rare footage

Cari McGillivray posted the head-turning video, shot near Stewart, B.C., to social media

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

Takaya, B.C.’s intriguing lone wolf, seen eating seal and howling away on Discovery Island

Fun facts about Takaya the wolf, like his a 36-hour tour around Chatham, Discovery Islands

Resident finds loaded shotgun inside a duffle bag in Kelowna alleyway

RCMP seized a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, ammunition, clothing and other items

Graffiti, calls and Snapchat: RCMP probe string of threats targeting Kamloops schools

There have been nine different threats made to four different schools in the city

Most Read