A Kelowna employer is threatening to move his business out of the province because of the new employer health tax.
In a letter to Premier John Horgan, Finance Minister Carole James and local Liberal MLA Steve Thomson, which was attached to a BC Liberal press release, Dennis Hostland, president and CEO of Western System Controls, writes: “The latest B.C. Employer Health Tax is more than likely the final nail in the coffin that will lead to our decision to finally make the move out of B.C.”
Hostland complains the 1.95% tax applies to employees working and living outside the province.
“Out of Province employee’s remuneration, working on Out of Province projects, must be included in our B.C. Employer Health Tax remittance because we do not have a permanent establishment outside of B.C.,” he writes.
Hostland describes his company as a unionized construction company performing specialized instrumentation contracting services.
He also complains about B.C. eliminating the harmonized sales tax and going back to the provincial sales tax, which was a move B.C. voters demanded in a 2011 referendum.
“After 47 years of doing business in this Province, we are seriously considering a move to another more tax friendly Province that will keep us competitive across Canada in a very tough industry,” he writes.
The B.C. government is eliminating Medical Service Plan premiums effective Jan. 1. To make up for the revenue loss, a tax is being imposed on businesses with payrolls above $500,000. It takes effect this year.