British Columbians ring in 2015 with rising fees, taxes
Published Wednesday, December 31, 2014 1:20PM PST
Last Updated Wednesday, December 31, 2014 7:40PM PST
British Columbians are going to ring in 2015 with rising fees.
The provincial AirCare program is ending Jan. 1, but the Insurance Corporation of B.C. is hiking its basic insurance rates by about $35 per year.
The provincial auto insurer said it needed to boost rates because of an increase in injury claims costs, including distracted-driving related crashes.
But that’s not all people living in the province will be paying more for in the New Year.
BC Hydro is raising rates by six per cent, starting April 1.
The agency says the change will amount to approximately $72 for the average home. It’s part of a planned 28 per cent rate rise over five years.
The Medical Services Plan premium rates will increase by four per cent – which translates to $33 more per year for individuals, and $66 for families with three people or more.
Fares for all B.C. ferry routes will be increasing by nearly four per cent.
Jordan Bateman of the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation says the increases compound on top of one another, and will affect people’s bottom line.
“While it’s all these different levels of government reaching into your pocket, there is only one pocket to be reaching into,” Bateman said.
“So ICBC will make the case that we need this $35 more a year and it might be doable for customers to pay another $35 a year, the problem is you’re adding it to the $75 to Hydro and four per cent to ferries and all these other taxes.”