2019 tax hikes: From gas to pensions, B.C. residents will pay more
Published Monday, December 31, 2018 5:17PM PST
At the stroke of midnight, it's going to become more expensive to live in B.C.
The carbon tax, gas tax and medical service plan premiums are all in flux, and while residents will pay less in some areas, they'll still be paying more overall.
As the calendar turns to 2019, governments will be looking to generate more revenue.
How much more will you pay?
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation reported the average single person in B.C. earning $30,000 a year will pay an extra $85 over last year, while someone earning $60,000 to $90,000 will pay less than $50 more.
A two-income family making $60,000 will pay just $26 more, while a family bringing in $200,000 will pay an extra $78.
The only group examined by the CTF that will pay less in 2019 than in 2018 are two-income families making less than $30,000. The federation estimates they'll pay about $670 less in 2019.
Looking at where those estimates come from, CTV News chose the example of a two-income family making about $120,000 a year. The family will pay an extra $196 for the Canada Pension Plan, but will pay $34 less for employment insurance, according to the CTF.
They'll also pay $33 less for federal income tax, $11 less in provincial income tax and $23 less for their MSP.
With all the increases and decreases factored in, they'll pay about $94 more next year in B.C., slightly less than the national average of $98.
The full report is available online.
Other taxes and increases
The B.C. government will begin phasing out MSP premiums, replacing them with a new employer health tax (EHT). The change means businesses and even municipal governments must now bear the cost for their workers.
"Of course we know that City Hall doesn't generate its own money, it takes money from property taxpayers," said Kris Sims, B.C. director of the CTF.
"So a lot of people are going to be surprised with their property tax hikes this year."
The City of Vancouver has cited the EHT as one reason for a 4.5 per cent property tax increase.
In addition to the other increases and decreases, B.C. homeowners of properties valued between $3 million and $4 million will pay an extra 0.2 per cent school tax on the portion of their home above $3 million.
For example, owners of a $3.5 million dollar home, will be subject to an additional tax on $500,000.
Those with homes assessed at a higher value will pay a 0.4 per cent tax on the portion of their property worth more than $4 million.
The increase is not without controversy. Earlier this year, "misleading" notices were sent to residents of Vancouver's tony Point Grey neighbourhood, and a meeting on the surtax in the spring was delayed due to security concerns.
And starting in April, the carbon tax goes from $35 to $40 per ton. The initiative adds about 8.9 cents on every litre of gasoline purchased in B.C., the CTF says.
The TransLink tax is also increasing from 17 cents to 18.5 cents per litre of gas purchased in Metro Vancouver.
With a report from CTV Vancouver's Ben Miljure