Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Todd Stone and Finance Minister Carole James during Question Period in the B.C. Legislature on Wednesday, March 7, 2018.
T. Stone: Nature’s Fare Markets up in Kamloops is proudly celebrating its 25th anniversary. This is a business that actually employees 450 people in communities all across this province — in Kamloops, Vernon, Kelowna, West Kelowna, Penticton, Langley and White Rock. This family run business will have to pay an additional $2 million a year due to the NDP’s replacement tax.
Will the Minister of Finance explain to this organic foods business why her ill-conceived replacement tax is being imposed on them with absolutely no consultation?
Hon. C. James: A $1.3 billion loss in ICBC. That’s the issue that we have to deal with.
Mr. Speaker: Minister.
Hon. C. James: I’m sure the member would like me to forget to raise that every time he stands up, but the taxpayers aren’t going to forget that, because it has an impact on the budget this year and next year and the year after — because of the mess they left.
Getting rid of the MSP, supporting families and individuals will put more money in their pockets and will support small businesses in those communities as the money is spent in the communities.
Mr. Speaker: The member for Kamloops–South Thompson on a supplemental.
T. Stone: What an absolutely dismissive response to a legitimate concern that a small business that employs 450 British Columbians is concerned about — an additional $2 million hit to their bottom line because of this government’s tax.
According to Michael Sherwood: “To put this tax in perspective, we will be lucky to survive to our 30th year in business.” This hard-working small business deserves respect, and they deserve an actual answer from this minister.
When will the minister admit that she was wrong? When will she scrap this new replacement tax — a tax that will have a devastating impact on small businesses and the B.C. economy?
Hon. C. James: We are dealing with the devastation of the impact of that member and the other side of the House when it comes to our budget, and that’s a reality for British Columbians.
Let’s look at the employers tax. Eighty-five percent of businesses will not pay the employers health tax — 85 percent — and 5 percent of businesses will pay the full amount of tax. We believe that that’s a fair approach to get rid of a regressive tax — to support families, support individuals and support health care in British Columbia.
Source: BC Hansard