LETTER — An open letter to Kamloops’ MLAs Todd Stone and Terry Lake:
As British Columbians, we are some of the most fortunate people in the world. We share the riches of abundant natural resources and the public services, which derive from the taxes we pay. We also expect that the private corporations that extract these public resources should pay a fair share of the value of those resources in the taxes they pay. However, a comparison of the value of the resources extracted in 2001 with those extracted in 2012 and the related tax revenues exposes an alarming trend that we should be very concerned about. First, let’s take a look at the increases in just three resource-based production values in this province.
• In 2001, the value of coal production was $959,000,000. By 2012 it had grown to $5,060,000,000: an increase of 527%.
• The value of metals production in 2001 was $1,394,000,000; in 2012 it was $2,453,000,000: an increase of 76%.
• The value of industrial minerals in 2001 was $296,000,000. That had increased to $472,000,000 in 2012: an increase of 60%.
This represents a huge increase in corporate revenue over the last ten years or so. In comparison, if we look at the total B.C. natural resource tax revenue in 2001, we see that it was about $4.2 billion. In 2013, that figure had declined to about $2.5 billion!
Looking at natural resources produced in B.C., we find the provincial share of market value has declined from a steady 35% some years ago to about 15% in the last two years, a stark contrast to the huge gains made by private, resource-based corporate interests.
So, Ministers Stone and Lake, can you help the folks in Kamloops understand this apparent anomaly?
Can you also advise voters as to whether or not private resource-based corporations have made tax-deductible contributions to political parties in B.C.?