Kamloops/Abbotsford/Langley/Burnaby – Following the 2018 Provincial Budget, the first for the NDP since 2001, there are a few flashpoints that a number of Chamber’s of Commerce have mentioned as topic discussions for the upcoming BC Chamber of Commerce Annual AGM and Conference, in Kamloops running from May 24 to 26.
The first was the hike to the minimum wage.
The BC Chamber endorses the rise, but with caution. It should be carefully monitored as to not adversely affect the Provincial Economy. That original story was published by FVN in February and can be found here.
The other hot button topic will be the phasing out of MSP premiums, but the reality is, someone has to pay the bill. That’s when the payroll tax kicks in. The problem being, they overlap. The concern for double dipping by the Province is real.
MSP Premiums disappear in 2020. The Payroll health tax starts in 2019. Critics don’t like that. The BC Chamber of Commerce will hear a proposal from both the Abbotsford and Langley Chamber of Commerce and the Burnaby Board of Trade.
To avoid undue negative impacts, they will propose, on the floor of the AGM:
Postponing the date of the employer tax start to 2020, so it coincides with the MSP phase out, or establish a process to allow businesses and non-profits which pay MSP premiums on behalf of their employees, to apply for an exemption or reduction to their employer health tax obligations.
Increasing the payroll threshold which is currently set at $500,000, to allow for more true small businesses and small non profits to be exempted from the tax.
Ensuring that the Employer Health tax rates are applied incrementally so that the first $500,000 of payroll is exempt regardless of the total size of the overall payroll.
Indexing the payroll exemption thresholds to inflation by linking annual increases in the thresholds to the Consumer Price Index.
For other business organizations, small business and business leaders, FVN asks you to weigh into this discussion in the comment box below.