BC Liberals slam NDP and Greens for nixing task force to help small businesses deal with property taxes

Todd Stone

B.C. Liberal Municipal Affairs Critic Todd Stone and Small Business Critic Coralee Oakes on Monday urged the NDP to stop ignoring the concerns of small businesses across British Columbia.

“The NDP keeps introducing legislation intent on putting small businesses out of work,” said Stone. “While the BC Liberals continue to introduce amendments to help small business owners manage the overload of taxes placed on them by the NDP, the government keeps voting them down.”

This comes after the NDP and Green partners refused to set up a task force proposed by Stone to help small businesses cope with rapidly rising property tax bills. The proposed task force would have evaluated assessment differences between property classes, with the goal of helping Class 5 and 6 properties be assessed at their actual use rather than taxed at unfairly high rates.

The task force recommendations would have been implemented in time for the 2020 taxation year, saving jobs and stopping businesses from closing. Instead, the NDP and Greens turned their backs on small businesses, opting to continue burdening them with new and higher taxes – like the MSP-replacement tax, carbon tax, and increasing property tax, according to the B.C. Liberals.

“We want small business owners to be able to flourish in B.C.,” said Oakes. “But by ignoring concerns of British Columbians who aren’t their NDP friends or supporters, this government keeps dealing blow after blow our province’s small business community.”

“Instead of simply paying lip service to small businesses, it’s time for the NDP to start helping small business owners and their families,” added Stone.