EDITORIAL: Here comes the tax, man

Be prepared for taxes to rise, despite challenging economic times

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives released a report this week that says if the province returned to 2000 tax levels it could wipe out the deficit, estimated at $1.47 billion, in one year.

That’s something to think about.

B.C.’s finances are tight because of several cuts to both personal and business taxes that have thinned the budget steadily over the last decade. If the province collected the same amount in tax revenues as it did in 2000, it would have $3.5 billion more in public funds, no deficit, and the ability to invest in enhanced and even new public services.

While raising taxes doesn’t sound like a great idea on the surface, there is no evidence that lower taxes have stimulated our economy. In fact, the opposite appears to be true.

When the Liberals came in they gutted the public service and got the province out of the red. But the economy was in a different place then. At the time our resources were selling well globally, the U.S. housing market was booming and the economy was generally in good shape.

Where our taxes come from has altered, too. We are taking less from corporations and more from families, less from higher income earners and more from the middle class.

British Columbians now have to decide what they value more: services or disposable income  – or find a balance between the two.

Experience says cut taxes to create jobs, but in poor economic times governments are not anxious to take those kind of risks.

Whether we have a Liberal, NDP or other government, tough decisions on taxation are going to have to be made.

A huge deficit is a job killer. It leads to consumer pessimism and an economic slow down.

Raising taxes will not be an easy sell for any government, but we may have no other choice if we want to see services maintained.

Just Posted

Thousands attend 31st TD Art Gallery Paint-In

Artists display their work along 20 blocks of Moss Street

Details scarce as union confirms probe underway involving Victoria care homes

Island Health, VicPD offer no comment on report of investigation into alleged sexual assaults

Swimmer set for double crossing of Georgia Strait

Jill Yoneda’s Aug. 3 swim will benefit Canuck Place

Sport fishing ban protest organizers trolling for attention

Hook-less anglers hitting Sooke area waters July 29 to protest DFO’s summer fin-fish ban

From hot dog to not dog: stuffed toy prompts car break in

The stuffed dog had been in the backseat for 18 years without problems

Here’s what you need to know about Day 2 at the BC Games

From equestrian to volleyball to swimming, all 18 events in full swing here in the Cowichan Valley

Lodeiro scores twice to help Sounders beat Whitecaps 2-0

Seattle’s Nicolas Lodeiro opened the scoring in the fifth minute when he converted a penalty kick

Race walker breaks 18-year-old BC Games record

Zone 6 athlete Olivia Lundman crossed finish line with ease, to loud cheers in Cowichan

PHOTO GALLERY: BC Games Day 2

A brief look at action from the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

BC Wildfire update on 14 major Okanagan blazes

Watch the media briefing on the current fire situation in the Okanagan.

UPDATED: Kinder Morgan pipeline protesters defy eviction order

Demonstrators at Camp Cloud in Burnaby say they won’t leave, but will meet with city officials

Ex-Raptor DeMar DeRozan says goodbye to Toronto on Instagram

The guard was traded to the San Antonio Spurs earlier this week for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green

Okanagan wildfires have potential to become firestorms, says UBC expert

David Andison said to let smaller fires go, to create pockets in the landscape for new forests

Most Read