Category: Taxation

Climate action pretence

Governments impose carbon taxes ostensibly to deal with climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But effectiveness is limited since the taxes are not applied broadly or at levels sufficient to reduce or compel reduction in fossil fuel production and consumption…

Tax expenditures

Tax expenditures, represent a tax break that government offers people and corporations in support of policy objectives. It’s forgone revenue, or money that government doesn’t collect, but could if it didn’t offer that tax break. In 2016/17, tax expenditures in B.C. accounted for over $7 billion in foregone revenue.

Public wealth, private benefit

People who are not profiting – or expecting to profit – from corruption in British Columbia’s political arena, should understand. We all pay. We pay dearly and inescapably. Tens of billions of dollars the Clark gang is gifting to private power producers and billions more paid and payable to foreign owned gas producers might provide for an effective court system, better public education, healthcare, small business support and other citizen priorities.

Politics, journalism and easy virtue

G20 country governments are providing $444 billion a year in subsidies for the production of fossil fuels. In Canada, at the federal level, this amounts to a minimum of $1.6 billion, mainly through tax expenditures. At the provincial level, tax breaks amount to a minimum of $979 million annually. In fact, the numbers are even larger. Fossil fuel companies recognize values gained when sympathetic politicians are there to determine financial policies so oil and gas producers spend extravagantly to sustain a synergetic relationship. In recent years, they’ve courted journalists and media companies whose financial comforts have been in decline. Many of those have turned out to be of easy virtue.

Pending: shift of sales tax from businesses to individuals

When a small but politically influential group advocates change to reduce their taxation by $2+ billion a year, they want the rest of us paying instead. With the potential reward so large, the province’s business leaders will remain persistent in demanding relief from sales taxes. Because they’ve invested millions of dollars in the BC Liberal Party, they expect success. Business benefits directly from infrastructure and services financed by taxpayers. They expect safe and orderly communities; they expect police and fire protection; they want educated workers, communication and transportation systems; and they want utilities to serve their offices, factories and warehouses. They want those things; they just want others to pay for them.

Port Mann losses “unsustainable”

Since toll revenue at Port Mann has covered only 39% of operating costs, the BC Government needs to explain how it will finance existing and future shortfalls on Port Mann/Highway 1. These are growing by about $5 million a month and paying for an even more costly tunnel replacement will demand a solution. One possibility was proposed in the original Gateway Program. It contemplated: “…tolling of all bridges connecting to the Burrard Peninsula, including the Lions Gate, Ironworkers Memorial, Pitt River, Port Mann, Pattullo, Alex Fraser, Knight Street, Oak Street and Arthur Laing bridges…”

News or not news?

Natural gas production levels have increased (53% since 2007) yet net revenue to government from gas in the past year was negative. Instead of being paid for the right to extract this public resource, British Columbians are paying for its removal.

Favoured friends

After the Campbell Liberals were  elected in 2001, influences of special business interests grew rapidly. Under Christina Clark’s leadership, non-renewable resource companies wield great political power and they use it to minimize […]