MLA Report: A tax by any other name is still a tax

Here’s how it works. In order to ‘balance’ the budget, the BC Liberals simply require crown corporations to pay a dividend ...

Whether it is a fee, a rate or a service charge, if you are paying it to fund a government program, you might as well call it what it is: a tax.  Premier Clark might claim that her budget didn’t raise taxes, but we all know that costs to taxpayers for government services are still rising.

For instance, BC Hydro rates are going up by 28% over the next 5 years.  While the Minister of Energy will tell you that the reason for the rate increase is to repair aging infrastructure, the truth is that much of that increase is going directly to provincial revenue.

Here’s how it works.  In order to ‘balance’ the budget, the BC Liberals simply require crown corporations such as BC Hydro to pay a specific ‘dividend’ to the province as the corporation’s only shareholder.  It does not matter whether or not the corporation actually has enough profit to pay the dividend; the dividend must simply be paid.

The only way for BC Hydro to make this payment to government’s coffers is to raise your hydro rates.  That’s a tax.

We all know that we have to contribute in order to fund government programs; we don’t like paying taxes, but we know we have to work together to make society function.  And we agree that those who are most able to pay should pay more than those who are struggling.

But the BC Hydro rate ‘tax’ hits hardest those who can least afford to pay.  Every person, regardless of income, will pay the same rate increase, and for many in our communities this is just too much to bear.

So when you hear Premier Clark and her Minister of Finance claim that there are no new taxes and we have a balanced budget, keep in mind the path we are taking to get there.

In the case of BC Hydro, we are heavily taxing individuals who have no other option to heat and light their homes.  And we are throwing away our established principles of tax fairness just to serve the Premier’s political agenda.

Norm Macdonald is the MLA  for Columbia River–Revelstoke |

 

Just Posted

Revelstoke artist receives second place in Kelowna juried art show

Danielle Hebert Special to the Review Revelstoke artist Peter Blackmore has been… Continue reading

Revelstoke city staff hope to create neighbourhood plan for Johnson Heights

There have been several development applications for the area

Jocelyn’s Jottings: Making an impact-collectively

Last week, I participated in the Collective Impact session hosted by the… Continue reading

Growls and Hugs for June 12

Someone or something got your hackles up? Or maybe someone made you… Continue reading

Revelstoke roads and weather: high 27 degrees

Two small fires are just north of Revelstoke

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

Thunderstorm leaves small fire in the Shuswap in its wake

Wildfire crews are also fighting a small fire near Kamloops

Police seek two suspects and car after stabbing in Kelowna

The stabbing took place on Friday evening on Wilson Avenue. It sent one man to hospital.

Okanagan pitcher tosses second no-hitter of season

Vernon’s Jarod Leroux has two no-nos in his last three starts for the BCPBL’s Okanagan Athletics

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Summerland Health Care Auxiliary completes hospital donation pledge early

$1M contribution to medical equipment campaign completed half a year earlier than expected

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Summerland ready for dry summer conditions

Province has declared Level Two drought, but Summerland has not increased watering restrictions

Summerland pioneers had connection to Middlesex, England

Harry Dunsdon and Richard Turner became cattlemen

Most Read