On February 18th, 2020, the Honourable Carole James, Minister of Finance and Deputy Premier, presented BC Budget 2020-21. This was the Minister’s third full budget since her Government took power.
The Minister stated BC continues to lead the country in economic growth, is the only province in Canada with a Triple-A credit rating and, has the lowest unemployment rate of all provinces.
This is very much a hold-the-course budget with modest new money for its climate action initiative, CleanBC, enhanced post-secondary education funding, investment in health authorities and hospitals and, new taxes on high income earners. The Minister continued to warn of a softening economy, international risks and the need for spending prudence. In regard to the latter, 13 of 20 ministries are seeing their budgets frozen or reduced next year.
- The Government is projecting a budget surplus of $227 million in 2020-21
- The Government is holding the line on child-care funding which is largely frozen for the next three years.
- On housing the Government continues to tout its $7 billion 10-year plan to create 114,000 new units of housing with no new funding or measures announced. The Minister highlighted the numerous measures her Government has taken since assuming power to assist renters, with no additional new measures announced.
- Health authorities and hospitals will see funding increase 9.5%. Healthcare currently represents 40% of the entire provincial budget
- Under the heading “Encouraging Health Choices” the Government announced that it will be removing PST exemption on sweetened carbonated beverages. This means that soft drinks will become 7% more expensive overnight
- Personal taxes will be increasing for those making more than $220,000 per year to 20.5 per cent.
- The Minister introduced an exemption from the Additional Property Transfer Tax for certain Canadian-controlled limited partnerships. Effective on a date to be specified by regulation, a new exemption from additional property transfer tax will be introduced for qualifying Canadian-controlled limited partnerships in a manner more consistent with Canadian-controlled corporations. It will ensure that new housing developments are treated similarly, irrespective of whether the development is being undertaken by a Canadian-controlled corporation or Canadian-controlled limited partnership. This will benefit many Canadian builders, who can obtain financing from outside entities that do not have controlling interests in projects. This change will help to ensure builders have access to capital needed in order to provide homes for British Columbians.
Source: Landlord BCFor additional Budget 2020 information click here.