Tax increase on booze, hydro, come into effect today

Hydro and Liquor price increases are in effect today with electricity rates going up 6 per cent, or approximately $72.00 for the average home.

The liquor price hikes vary – running from $1.00 to $6.00 depending on the product

“There are some $15.00 bottles of wine that are going to go up 6 per cent, and that’s only a dollar but that’s still a substantial increase on a product you buy all the time,” says Jeff Guignard with the Alliance of Beverage Licensees. “About 80 – 85 per cent of the products do look like they’re going to be within a per cent or so, but we are starting to see some products – there’s going to be increases of 5 to 10 per cent.”

Meantime you can put down Jordan Bateman – the B.C. Director of the Taxpayers Federation – as among the unimpressed.

“It’s a bad time to be a taxpayer in British Columbia – the nickel and diming of government increases is continuing,” says Bateman. “Even know it’s April first when a bunch of these come into effect, it’s certainly no laughing matter.”

Bateman also says these hikes go against claims made in the most recent balanced budget presented by the province.

“In the B.C. budget, there’s this wonderful paragraph talking about the philosophy that there’s only one taxpayer, and that an increase federally, or and increase municipally, or an increase provincially – it doesn’t matter because there’s only one taxpayer and it’s ultimately that person – you and I who are paying the bill,” explains Bateman. “That’s what this violates more than anything else; the fact that they write these nice things in their budget but they don’t actually walk out the philosophy.”

Bateman adds, “Before you know it, all these little increases of a few bucks a month each have started to add up to real money.”

That real money included another $66.00 per family just three months ago when the government jacked up the medical services premium tax, and Mr. Bateman also noted that for many, next month it will be property taxes and likely ICBC.

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