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Fiscal & Tax Policy

As a small, open trading region, BC depends on investment and trade to support ongoing economic development and public services. A competitive tax regime and balanced government finances are key advantages in attracting investments to BC. The Council plays an important role in analyzing BC’s fiscal policies relative to other jurisdictions and advocating for reforms that boost our competitiveness.

Growing Grey: Fiscal Policy Amid an Aging Population

As the population ages and more people exit the workforce than naturally enter it, policy-makers will be presented with significant challenges. This short paper looks at some of the fiscal stresses that demographic change will pose, with a specific focus on British Columbia, and suggests options that could help to ease the looming fiscal crunch.

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RELEASE: B.C. economy continues to post solid growth

Amid solid global growth and a booming U.S. economy, the British Columbia economy is in good shape and will continue to grow at a respectable, albeit more moderate, pace over the next two years. B.C.’s real GDP growth is expected to be in the 2.2% to 2.5% range for 2018 and 2019.

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The End of Money for Nothing

The latest edition of the BC Economic Review and Outlooks examines the impact rising interest rates are having on the BC economy.

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So Far, So Good...But Proceed with Caution: An Update on B.C.'s Fiscal Picture

Last month, B.C. Finance Minister Carole James wrapped up the NDP’s first full financial year and provided an update on the government’s books through the first quarter of 2018-2019. Here’s what you should know.

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SUBMISSION in advance of the 2019 Provincial Budget

The Business Council's submission to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services in advance of the 2019 Provincial Budget.

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A ‘Boost’ Up the Income Ladder: The Role of Income-Based Tax Credits

Addressing income inequality is an important challenge for policymakers and communities. Establishing a consumption floor below which no person falls is a policy goal in many jurisdictions.

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Finlayson & Peacock Op-Ed: Growing Tax Burden Hurts B.C. Business Competitiveness (Business in Vancouver)

In many sectors of our economy, the cost of operating a business has risen significantly over the past several years due to provincial government policy decisions. For a typical business, the most visible government-driven cost increases have come via higher (and in some cases new) taxes and fees. Below we briefly discuss the most salient examples.

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Where Does the Money Come From? The B.C. Government’s Top Revenue Sources

Where exactly does the province get the vast sums required to pay for the services and programs it provides or supports?

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An Update on Government Finances

With the national economy having reached potential, now is not a propitious time for governments to be running fiscal deficits. Yet, collectively, they are doing just that.

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Finlayson & Peacock Op-Ed: New age of activist governments driving up cost of doing business (Business in Vancouver)

Welcome to a new era of activist government.

In the last two years, both the federal and provincial governments have outlined more ambitious policy agendas. Each has ramped up spending on social services and income support programs, laying the foundations for a larger public sector. The drumbeat of regulatory change has become deafening as governments initiate multiple policy reviews and move to reshape environmental assessment and permitting rules, energy regulations and standards, the legal frameworks governing employment and labour relations, minimum wages, housing market policies, apprenticeships and much else besides.

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Finlayson & Peacock Op-Ed: Budget’s higher business costs dim B.C. investment prospects

The first full budget unveiled by the BC NDP government offers a mix of higher spending, tax hikes on business and significant commitments to expand child care and address concerns over housing affordability and real estate speculation.

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BC Budget 2018 - Higher Business Taxes Plus Additional Spending Measures

Many B.C. businesses will be scrambling to adjust to significantly higher payroll costs.

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BCBC Offers Mixed Reviews on Budget 2018

Today’s budget presented by Finance Minister Carole James introduces a new payroll tax, takes significant steps towards addressing housing affordability, and commits to a significant expansion of child care in the province. However, the Business Council believes there is more work to do to strengthen the foundations of B.C.’s prosperity.

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Finlayson & Peacock: Avoiding a deficit should be a BC NDP coalition budget priority (Business in Vancouver)

Some cautionary advice for Minister Carole James heading into the NDP Government's first full budget.

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SUBMISSION: MSP Task Force

The Business Council's submission to the MSP Task Force which has been asked to advise on how to make up the forgone revenue from the elimination of Medical Services Plan premiums.

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Finlayson & Peacock Op Ed: U.S. tax reforms set to remake competitive landscape for Canada (Business in Vancouver)

As finance ministers across Canada start putting the finishing touches on their 2018 budgets, they are sure to be casting a nervous glance to the south. In late December, the U.S. Congress approved – and President Donald Trump signed – a package of tax reforms and rate reductions that amounts to the biggest overhaul of America’s tax system in four decades. The changes are numerous and complex. For policy-makers and business leaders in Canada, the new reality of U.S. taxation heralds a significant shift in the competitive landscape.

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Three economic predictions for 2018

What does 2018 have in store on the economic front? We offer these three predictions.

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BCBC in 2017: Advancing Ideas and Actions....

In the final days of 2017, we’ve taken a moment to review the 119 publications, submissions to government, opinion editorials and blogs produced by the team at the Business Council of British Columbia. In addition to highlighting our major works, we’ve put together a compilation which revisits the most popular pieces and provides an overview of the range of issues that have garnered attention this year. 

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Finlayson & Peacock Op-Ed: How government can help build bigger businesses in B.C. (Business in Vancouver)

To build a more prosperous economy, new businesses have to be created and some existing firms must grow. The business world is characterized by a high degree of “churn,” with many new entrants together with lots of exits and diverse patterns of expansion and contraction among the pool of surviving companies. Many new firms don’t have a long shelf life. About half close their doors within five years. Of those that hit the five-year mark, most never reach the 50-employee level.

But those that do grow swiftly tend to make disproportionate contributions to our economy. This is partly because as businesses expand, they become more productive – and therefore, on average, pay higher wages. In addition, as firms grow, they are more likely to export and to take advantage of the economies of scale that come from doing business beyond local markets.

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From Good to Great: The Benefits of Scaling Up BC Business

To build a more prosperous and innovative economy, new businesses have to be created and some existing firms must grow.

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