Cranbrook Chamber Joins BC Chamber Calling for a Balanced B.C. Budget, PST Reform and Affordable Housing Measures

Feb. 15, 2015 – The Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce joins the BC Chamber of Commerce in calling for a balanced budget, PST reform, and measures to support affordable housing in tomorrow’s budget reveal.

“B.C. deserves better than our regressive archaic PST system, which drowns business owners in red tape and confuses even tax professionals,” said David D. Hull, Executive Director with the Cranbrook Chamber.   “B.C.’s tax competitiveness has been seriously undermined by the public’s rejection of the Harmonized Sales Tax.  As a province, we need to create a solution to our tax problem and create a value added tax that supports businesses and meets the needs of all British Columbians.”

The BC Chamber’s policy on PST calls for short-term measures to reduce the harm caused by the PST, plus the launch of a dialogue with British Columbians on developing a made-in-B.C. value-added sales tax; the policy is available here.

Housing affordability is also top of mind to British Columbians, particularly in the Lower Mainland area. “The BC Chamber has been calling for some relief from property transfer tax as one means to offset the housing affordability crisis that many British Columbians face,” said Jon Garson, BC Chamber president and CEO.

The Chamber’s policy on the property transfer tax increases PTT thresholds so as to lower the tax for B.C. residents buying property, while raising it for non-residents of Canada and corporations controlled by non-residents of Canada; the policy is available here.

The Cranbrook Chamber joined the BC Chamber and member Chambers across the province in calling for fiscal prudence and a balanced budget. “Balanced budgets may not sound sexy, but they are a key factor in B.C.’s economic well-being and they are our insurance against hard times,” Garson said. “We are all too aware of the struggles our Albertan neighbours now face with rock-bottom oil prices. Balanced budgets are a critical defence against unexpected tough times.”

The BC Chamber will be at the B.C. budget lockup in Victoria on Tuesday, February 16, and will be on a conference call with the BC Chamber network upon release.  The Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce will release information and comment following.