Monthly newsletter from Richard Neufeld

Provincial Plan Supports Rural Economy

Northeast B.C. is fortunate to continue enjoying positive growth thanks largely in part to the oil and gas industry.  However, that doesn’t allow us to ignore the current state of the global economy and the potential impacts it could have on our region and our province.

That is why Premier Campbell made a special address broadcast on most major television stations on October 22 laying out our government’s 10 Point Economic Plan.

I would like to take this opportunity to highlight the key measures that will benefit our region.

There will be an accelerated personal income tax cut of five per cent, retroactive to January 1, 2008.  This includes the two per cent tax cut that took effect July 1 of this year as well as the planned three per cent reduction that was to take effect January 1, 2009.  Taxpayers will see the retroactive benefit on their 2008 tax return. This step will put an additional $144 million in the pockets of British Columbians.

Communities will enjoy accelerated tax relief for small business, effective December 1, 2008.  The small business income tax rate will be reduced to 2.5 per cent from the current 3.5 per cent. This supports the income tax rate reduction from 4.5 per cent to 3.5 per cent on July 1, 2008 with a plan to reduce them to 2.5 per cent by 2011. This will accelerate that tax cut by two years, resulting in a 44 per cent tax cut for small business this year alone. The savings to small business will be $146 million over three years allowing for further investment in business operations and stimulating job creation.  At a time where small businesses may be facing additional pressures, we believe it is important to support them. 

A tax rebate of 50 per cent for all school property taxes will be returned to light and heavy industry to help some of B.C.’s oldest and largest employers. It will save industry about $115 million over the next three years and is on top of the approximately $24 million in annual benefits to heavy industry announced in the 2008 budget. This demonstrates our commitment to have the lowest corporate income tax rate in Canada by 2011.

These measures, and the remaining points of the Economic Plan, account for an additional accumulation of $485 million in tax relief and support for businesses, families and individuals over the next three years.

Our province is in a very positive position compared to the global economy but we have to take steps to ensure B.C. weathers any future storms.  These tax cuts will help rural B.C. reinvest in small business and enjoy further growth.

Click here to review the entire plan: http://www2.news.gov.bc.ca/news_releases_2005-2009/2008OTP0260-001612.htm.