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32 more taxes


If it feels like life is more expensive, it’s because it is.


Sure, the governments of the day like to point to global inflation as to why, but that is only part of the story.  Not only have the prices of the goods and services in British Columbia become increasingly costly, but the increase of our cost of living is also due to the high taxes we face every day. 


It's no secret that the government needs money to run services, but when services are run inefficiently and expensively, the only solution a government has is to raise taxes. 


The old but true expression is: “There is only one taxpayer.”


Higher taxes inevitably make life more expensive, a fact that UBC Professor of Economics, Julien Picault, sums up perfectly: "Whatever you tax, costs more." 


Taxes touch every aspect of our lives. From the moment we receive our paycheques, a substantial portion is taken out for income tax. This immediate deduction limits our ability to save, invest, and spend on both necessities and the little luxuries that make life enjoyable.


As our disposable income shrinks, we’re forced to cut back on essential expenses like groceries, healthcare, and education.


But it doesn't end there. Higher corporate taxes, for example, are often passed down to us as consumers in the form of higher prices for goods and services. When businesses face increased tax burdens, they have no choice but to raise prices to stay profitable. 


This means we pay more for everything, from groceries to gasoline, straining our household budgets and reducing our purchasing power. British Columbians have struggled under the current provincial government’s years of rising costs, punishing taxes, and policies that hinder prosperity.


There have been 32 taxes added to our everyday lives over the course of the last seven years of this provincial government.


One of the most obvious examples of how taxes impact our cost of living is the housing market. Property taxes directly affect the affordability of owning a home. When property taxes go up, so do monthly expenses for homeowners, which can be especially tough for those on fixed incomes. Renters aren't spared either, as landlords pass these costs onto tenants through higher rents. The dream of owning a home becomes more distant, and even renting becomes a financial challenge.


Moreover, taxes on building materials and development drive up the cost of new housing. Builders and developers facing higher taxes have to raise prices, making new homes more expensive. This creates a vicious cycle, keeping housing affordability out of reach for many.


Small businesses, often called the backbone of our economy, are also hit hard by high taxes. These businesses already operate on thin margins, and higher taxes make it even harder for them to survive. Increased costs for goods, services, and wages—driven by higher corporate and payroll taxes—force small businesses to make tough choices. They might have to raise prices, reduce staff, or, in the worst cases, close their doors.


When small businesses struggle or fail, the effects ripple through our communities. We lose local services, jobs, and the unique character that small businesses bring to our neighbourhoods. High taxes threaten their survival, and by extension, the vitality of our communities.


Life has become more expensive and taxes are partly to blame. So what is the solution?

In preparation for the upcoming fall provincial election, Kevin Falcon launched BC United's plan for a government that lives within its means.


The key commitments to this plan include: reducing the tax burden on British Columbians and a commitment to no new taxes; achieve a balanced budget within the first term and limit government spending increases to inflation plus population growth; create jobs and opportunities by making B.C. the most competitive business environment in Canada, cutting red tape, and ensuring fast permitting and approvals.


While funding public services and infrastructure is essential, we must fund this from economic growth. 


The BC government need to consider how tax increases impact the cost of living and the overall well-being of Canadians. Sensible tax policies that promote economic growth and reduce the burden on individuals and businesses are crucial.


Lowering taxes, particularly on income and small businesses, can stimulate economic activity, increase disposable income, and make life more affordable. Encouraging investment and entrepreneurship through tax incentives can drive innovation and create jobs, benefiting the entire economy. Additionally, reducing taxes on essentials like housing, groceries, and fuel can provide immediate relief to those struggling with rising costs.


In conclusion, the impact of taxes on our cost of living is undeniable. 


Higher taxes drive up prices, reduce our purchasing power, and place an undue burden on individuals, families, and businesses. It's time for policymakers to recognize the true cost of high taxes and implement sensible tax policies that foster economic growth, affordability, and prosperity for all Canadians.  


My question to you is this: How have the 32 new or increased taxes affected your personal budget?


I love hearing from you and read every email.  


Please email me at Renee.Merrifield.MLA@leg.bc.ca or call the office at 250-712-3620.

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