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MILOBAR – Just when we need it the least, a new tax from the NDP

(Image: Govt of BC)

By PETER MILOBAR
MLA, Kamloops-North Thompson

MANY BRITISH COLUMBIANS are having a rough go of it financially right now.

If you’re having trouble paying your bills or balking at the price at the gas pump, you’re not alone. It’s probably the worst time for the government to slap new taxes on consumers, but here we are.

MLA Peter Milobar.

On July 1, a new NDP tax on online marketplaces came into effect which will impact small businesses who pay a fee to sell their goods on sites like Amazon, eBay and even Uber Eats. There will now be taxes on that fee, which will impact their bottom line and no doubt trickle down to you, the consumer.

There are also other applications for this tax. When you order food through an app, the restaurant may pay a commission or fee. When you order on e-commerce, some of the small merchants that sell on these websites pay a placement fee or pay for advertising to the marketplace, because they want to be at the top of the list when consumers search.

Or they’ll pay for services like ‘pick and pack’ and delivery to make it easier to get their products to consumers. Those fees that are paid by small businesses will be taxable now, making them less competitive and forcing them to pass that added cost down to you.

This new online marketplace tax will help the government rake in an extra $100 million in provincial revenues in the next year. It’s a way for government to collect hidden taxes at a time of rising inflation, which is the last thing people need.

Even worse, if services like Meta Pay take off, they could be forced to collect tax on used goods you purchase through Facebook Marketplace. The same goes for any online marketplace provider that allows you to pay online.

B.C continues to experience a deepening affordability crisis and British Columbians are enduring some of the worst consequences. We have the highest gas prices in North America, and we’re doing double-takes at the grocery bill each week.

We’re seeing the highest rents in the country, and home ownership continues to be an unattainable goal for many people. Inflation has surpassed eight per cent in our province, and the NDP is refusing to provide relief.

A few months ago, the premier told us that he had directed Finance Minister Selina Robinson “…to look at efforts to bring forward initiatives to assist with inflation… we’ll see how that goes.” Since the time of Horgan’s comments, no such initiatives have been announced.

People feel abandoned by this NDP government, and by a premier who clearly has the luxury of maintaining a ‘we’ll see how that goes’ attitude. Not only are they doing zilch to provide inflation relief, they are making the situation worse by laying on more taxes.

It’s further proof this is a government that is completely out of touch with everyday British Columbians.

Peter Milobar was elected MLA for Kamloops-North Thompson in May 2017, and re-elected in October 2020. He is the Official Opposition Critic for Finance. He previously served as critic for Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, critic for Environment and Climate Change Strategy, and the Official Opposition House Leader.

About Mel Rothenburger (9054 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

1 Comment on MILOBAR – Just when we need it the least, a new tax from the NDP

  1. Mr. Milobar may I have you comments please. This was 2019 and because of this the ratepayers of BC will be paying forever. So please spare me the “ out of touch” comments.

    VICTORIA — Massive political interference by the B.C. Liberals in B.C. Hydro. Hydro’s estimates of its own electricity needs and the way it could obtain power manipulated by direct orders from the cabinet table.

    Vaughn Palmer: Ratepayers ‘zapped’ by Hydro report that reveals shocking interference
    Ratepayers stuck with the tab for all these politically driven shenanigans not just now but for decades into the future. Staggering losses for Hydro, staggering impacts for ratepayers. It’s all there in a report released Wednesday by the energy ministry.

    Author of the article: Vaughn Palmer
    Publishing date:Feb 14, 2019 • February 14, 2019 • 5 minute read

    Click to access bch19-158-ipp_report_february_11_2019.pdf

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