B.C.’s recovery from the 2020 COVID-19 recession was most dramatic in a $ 5.5 billion improvement in the provincial deficit reported in the province’s last budget, when it was predicted to rise to $ 13.6 billion last fall at the height of the pandemic.
As natural resource incomes rebounded and lumber prices soared, British Columbia reaped its biggest gains from high income taxes and a rise in real estate that neither the province nor its private sector advisory board saw it coming.
“This improvement of $ 5.5 billion is mainly due to higher revenues, but also slightly lower expenses and better operating results in government organizations, including ICBC,” said the Minister of Finance Selina Robinson in her budget presentation on April 20.
The budget estimates the province’s property taxes at $ 2.3 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, rising to almost $ 3 billion for 2021-22. Land transfer taxes cost $ 2 billion last fiscal year and are expected to decline slightly to $ 1.97 billion the current year, with the finance ministry predicting “market activity moderation in 2022”.
Monthly home sales reached record highs in late 2020 and continued to grow in 2021, with high-wage jobs ‘resilient’ in the face of the pandemic, low interest rates and demand for larger homes by workers remotely, according to budget documents.
Real estate sales increased in all regions of British Columbia in 2020, with Metro Vancouver sales increasing 75%, Okanagan Mainline sales nearly doubling to 94.6%, Fraser Valley sales by 110% and those of Greater Victoria by 60%.
“Meanwhile, the average selling price of a home in British Columbia increased 11.6% in 2020 from 2019,” the budget documents say. “Strong growth in average selling prices was observed in most markets in the province. From the start of the year until February 2021, prices rose 16.5% compared to the same period a year earlier. “
ICBC’s net income is estimated at $ 709 million for the past year, falling to $ 154 million next year as major injury benefits reforms are set to take effect.
Provincial tobacco taxes continue to increase effective July 1, from 29.5 cents to 32.5 cents on a single cigarette. Provincial sales tax also applies to vaping products as of April 1.
A seven percent BC sales tax exemption on sugary soft drinks ended April 1, and the province also required foreign streaming services such as Netflix and Disney + to pay sales tax. as well as national services like CraveTV.
British Columbia’s carbon tax rose to 9.96 cents per liter of gasoline effective April 1, with another increase slated for April 2022. In Metro Vancouver, gasoline taxes are now of 36.96 cents per liter, including TransLink, the fuel tax and the carbon tax.
Royalties on natural gas are expected to increase rapidly, from $ 191 million to $ 286 million this year and $ 315 million in 2022-23 as British Columbia’s first large-scale LNG export project coming to an end. Both forestry revenue and the mining tax on coal mines are increasing, with an estimated increase of 14 percent for this year. This is expected to fall 6.1% in 2022-2023, mainly due to the decline in timber prices from current high levels.
British Columbia Budget 2021 British Columbia Politics