The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is calling on the B.C. government to give Interior residents a break by cutting fuel taxes, fixing ICBC and removing the Employer Health Tax.
CTF argues that because many Interior businesses depend on long-haul trucking, tourism and shipping, and are separated from the Lower Mainland by long distances, that they are affected disproportionately by the high cost of fuel and fuel taxes.
“We’ve spoken with small business owners who say their shipping costs have quadrupled this year, and that fuel surcharges are skyrocketing,” said Kris Sims, B.C. Director of the CTF.
“If the provincial and federal governments would axe the carbon tax, the excise tax and the GST tax-on-tax on fuel, it would save more than 25 cents per litre. If you’re filling up an 80-litre tank, that would save you $20 every time.”
The CTF also said they have been hearing from community leaders in the Interior that the NDP government’s new Employer Health Tax will hit cities and towns hard, with provincial revenue requirements being downloaded to cities and towns, risking a hike in property taxes.
“We’ve spoken with people looking for housing in Penticton while the provincial government blows taxpayer money on fancy walls for bureaucrats, people waiting for promised flood relief in Grand Forks while the provincial government makes them fill out dozens of wastepaper forms, and towns wondering how they are going to pay for the provincial government’s new health care tax,” Sims added.
“Many small businesses in places like the Okanagan and the Boundary areas depend on shipments from the Lower Mainland and the added burdens of high fuel taxes and ICBC’s highest auto insurance rates in Canada are making it extremely difficult for them to make ends meet.”