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NEWS RELEASE: ICBA Joins Small Business Organizations Calling for Payroll Tax Repeal

BURNABY – The Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA) today joined eight other associations representing small businesses in several industries in calling on Finance Minister Carole James to cancel her poorly planned payroll tax.

The B.C. Government stunned business owners when it introduced the tax in its 2018-19 provincial budget.

“This tax is a job killer,” said Chris Gardner, ICBA President. “It came completely out of left field, with absolutely no consultation before it was announced. How can government announce a brand new, $2-billion tax without any discussion or warning beforehand? It’s heavy-handed and sends a clear message that the new NDP government is out of touch with the affordability concerns of working families and small businesses.”

Gardner pointed out several other costs heaped on job creators since the NDP took power last summer (to highlight this burden, ICBA this week released a Facebook video showing the plight of small business owners. To watch it, click HERE):

  • Unexpected minimum wage hikes;
  • Federal EI hikes starting in 2019;
  • Canada Pension Plan (CPP) payroll costs will increase by 20 percent starting in 2019 until 2023;
  • Property tax increases, which will be exacerbated by this new NDP payroll tax;
  • Environmental regulations and new fees such as Recycle BC (formerly MMBC) and movement away from single-use items; and,
  • Gas prices will rise due to the increase in the carbon tax – an extra $5 per tonne annually until 2021, starting April 1.

“Small business is the heart of healthy and strong communities, but the backs of entrepreneurs looking to start or invest in a business are being broken by government’s never-ending tax hikes and -growing red tape,” said Gardner. “This payroll tax is punitive and will dampen the creation of new jobs and opportunities for young people and for those looking for work, it will push up costs for consumers, and it will prompt significant tax increases from local governments.  There is nothing affordable or balanced about this new tax.”

The letter calls on James to cancel the payroll tax and instead consult with stakeholders to find a fair and balanced approach. It was signed by ICBA, Canadian Federation of Independent Business, BC Construction Employers, Urban Development Institute, Restaurants Canada, B.C. Hotel Association, Progressive Contractors Association, Tourism Industry of B.C., and Retail Council of Canada. Read the full letter HERE.

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