BC Government Releases “Budget 2017 Update”

Today, Finance Minister Carol James released Budget 2017 Update, the first budget update of the new provincial government.

The Burnaby Board of Trade has reviewed the Budget 2017 Update and provided for your benefit the below highlights. We will continue to engage with the provincial government over the coming months on various issues, including consultations for the full 2018 budget and the recently announced Fair Wages Commission and the $15/hour minimum wage.

This update forecasts the current 2017-18 fiscal year to end in balance with a $246 million surplus.The budget update revealed that economic output in BC has been greater than forecast in February’s Budget 2017 driven largely by stronger consumer spending and export activity.  Tax revenue from nearly all sources has been revised upwards, with over $1.5 billion in additional revenue expected this fiscal year alone. Overall, Budget Update 2017 announced $1.8 billion in new spending initiatives over the next three years.

Significant highlights of Budget Update 2017 include various new spending initiatives, reaffirmations of past spending programs, and changes to taxation, such as:

  • The general corporate tax rate will be increased by one percent to 12% while the Small Business Tax Rate will be reduced from 2.5% to 2%.
  • MSP Premiums will be reduced by 50% in 2018 and phased out completely over four years.
  • Increase in the top personal income tax rate (for income above $150,000) from 14.7% to 16.8%
  • The carbon tax will increase by $5 per tonne in April 2018 and will rise to $50 per tonne (from the current $30) by 2021. The carbon tax will no longer be required to be revenue-neutral so carbon tax revenue will be used to fund future green initiatives and other programs.
  • $208 million for building 1,700 new affordable rental units and $291 million for the construction of 2,000 modular homes for the homeless
  • Adding $681 million over three years to the Ministry of Education, of which $521 million will be used to hire 3,500 new teachers and $50 million will address immediate space requirements for students.
  • Appointing a Fair Wages Commission to determine the path BC takes to a $15 per hour minimum wage
  • Establishing an Emerging Economy Task Force to consider the changing face of business and position BC for emerging technology and sustainability industries.
  • Appointing an Innovation Commissioner to be a champion and advocate for BC’s tech sector.
  • Continuing the phasing-out of PST paid on electricity

Read more about Budget 2017 Update at the following links:

BC Government’s Budget 2017 Update website
Full Budget 2017 Update document
Budget 2017 Update – 4-page Highlights document