Letter to Michael Atkinson, CCA
BC CONSTRUCTION ASSOCIATION RESPONDS TO INTERIM PROVINCIAL BUDGET
Tuesday, September 12, 2017 – Yesterday British Columbia’s new government released a budget update outlining several key announcements which will likely have an impact on BC’s construction industry, our members, and our communities across the province. This interim budget will direct government spending until the February 2018 budget is announced.
BCCA is a proudly bipartisan organization and we are ready to work with our elected leaders to ensure that BC’s economy continues to flourish with the full support and success of our industry behind it. As the new leadership coalition begins to shape its policies and implement legislation and programming based on election promises, the construction community – and BCCA — is taking note of key areas for discussion.
BCCA fully supports a budget that puts families and working people first. Given the size of our sector and the role that contractors and their workforces play in the provincial economy, we believe that all issues are in some way construction industry issues.
Of particular interest now is a contradiction that seems to be emerging between the government’s commitment to serve the working people first and the actions that are being taken. These actions have the potential to increase the fiscal burden on British Columbians, reduce the number project and employment opportunities for skilled tradespeople, make it more expensive to do business in BC, and undermine investment confidence in our province. Along with welcome investments in affordable rental and modular housing, a 0.5% reduction in small business tax, increased commitment to combating the opioid epidemic, and increases in the minimum wage, less constructive elements of the new budget are:
- Personal income tax increases from 14.7% to 16.8% on taxable income over $150,000
- Corporate income tax increases from 11% to 12%
- Carbon tax increase (no longer revenue neutral) by $5 per tonne (perceived by many in the business community as a way for government to offset a 50% decrease in MSP premiums for all British Columbians)
These changes in BC tax codes come at a time of proposed small business tax increases at the Federal level as well. Such changes are of particular concern to the construction industry due to the unique role we play in the provincial economy, combined with the composition of our workforce and the business challenges we face:
- There are over 21,000 ICI construction businesses operating in BC
- Construction employs more than 210,000 British Columbians
- The sector’s contribution to provincial GDP is 8.6%
- As a sector we face increasing international competition on large domestic projects, placing greater pressure on margins and cash flow
The BCCA is here to provide industry input and expertise to ensure our new leadership is able to achieve its goals without compromising the health of our sector, workforce, communities, or economy. We are keen to work closely together for our mutual success, and look forward to the opportunity for collaboration.
(250) 475 1077