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B.C. Budget 2024: Rebates, credits, small businesses relief in election year

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One-time rebates and bonuses for eligible families and hydro customers will see more money in the pockets of British Columbians as part of the NDP’s election year budget, with more spending in key support programs.

An estimated 340,000 eligible families will get an extra 24 per cent bonus with their monthly B.C. Family Benefit this year, with a family of four that’s been receiving $2,850 a year now eligible for $4,563, an increase of $445 for the year. Some 66,000 of those families will be newly eligible.

The one-time B.C. Electricity Affordability credit will save the average household $100, which will cost the province $370 million in total for the year. Commercial and industrial electricity customers will save up to 4.6 per cent of their energy consumption, which is expected to average $400 for the year.

The Climate Action Tax Credit is also growing slightly: families of four will receive $1,005 per year, up from $890 last year, while individuals who saw $447 last year will get $504 starting in July.

The long-promised renters’ rebate is finally going to be implemented this year, so “as people file their 2023 income taxes, renters will see up to $400 come back through the B.C. renter’s tax credit.”

This means a low-income family of four that rents their home could hold onto an extra $1,060 compared to last year.

PTT Exemption and small business breaks

The province is also implementing a property transfer tax exemption for “eligible purpose-built rental buildings” starting next year and through the end of 2030, which is only applied to rental buildings of four units or more.

Additionally, first-time homebuyers who qualify won’t have to pay any property transfer tax on the first half million dollars of homes worth up to $835,000, an estimated savings of $8,000. The previous threshold was for homes under $500,000, and homes under that amount are completely exempt from the tax.

There’s also an exemption for Employer Health Tax for small businesses from $500,000 to $1 million, meaning 90 per cent of business will not have to pay the Tax. That will cost government $108 million that small businesses will not pay this year.

“The Notch rate for remuneration above the new exemption threshold of $1 million and below the full rate of threshold of $1.5 million is increased from 2.925 to 5.85 per cent,” reads the budget document.

Low-income and disability supports

The province is also earmarking an extra $300 million over the next three years for those receiving income and disability assistance “to support anticipated demand for these supports.”

Community Living B.C. will also be receiving $105 million in the next three years for adults with developmental disabilities access services.

Another $150 million is going toward children and family supports, including individualized autism supports, over the next three years with another $30 million in supports for children with dyslexia and other learning differences in schools.

Full coverage of B.C. Budget 2024

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