In the ongoing spirit of “Guest” Top 10 writers I’ve asked Finance Minister Colin Hansen to remind us of the “Top 10” tax cuts of special interest to rural BC Residents over the past number of years. Tax cuts that help to build the economy on clearly this strategy has worked over the years.
Have a great week!
Pat Bell - http://www.patbellmla.bc.ca
1. Personal Income Tax Reductions
· Individuals earning up to $118,000 in British Columbia now pay the lowest provincial personal income taxes in Canada.
· For the majority of taxpayers, provincial income taxes have been reduced by at least 37 per cent since 2001 and an additional 325,000 people no longer pay any British Columbia income tax.
2. Northern and Rural Home Owner Benefit
· The northern and rural home owner benefit of up to $200 will be introduced in 2011. It will be provided as an increase to the home owner grant and the eligibility criteria for the home owner grant will also apply.
· The northern and rural benefit applies in those areas of the province outside the Capital Regional District, the Greater Vancouver Regional District and the Fraser Valley Regional District.
3. First Time Home Buyers Program Threshold Set at Province Wide Rate
· Eligible first time home buyers can claim an exemption from Property Transfer Tax if the fair market value of the home is less than the threshold amount. In Budget 2007 a single threshold was created for the First Time Home Buyers’ Program at $375,000. Prior to this the threshold was $325,000 in the Lower Mainland and Capital Region and $265,000 in the rest of the province.
· The single threshold at the increased amount means that more individuals buying homes outside the Lower Mainland and Capital Region may be eligible for the First Time Home Buyers’ Program. The current threshold for the First Time Home Buyers’ Program province-wide is $425,000.
4. Tax Reductions for Small Business
· In 2008, the small business tax rate was reduced from 4.5 per cent to 2.5 per cent — a reduction of 44 per cent. The government has committed to reducing the small business corporate income tax rate to zero by April 1, 2012.
· Since 2001, the small business corporate income tax threshold (i.e., the income level at which small businesses start paying tax) has increased to $500,000 from $200,000.
5. Provincial Farm Land Property Tax Credit
· Effective for the 2011 and subsequent taxation years, the Provincial Farm Land Property Tax Credit will reduce provincial school property tax on farm land (class 9) by 50 per cent.
6. Industrial Property Tax Credit
· The Industrial Property Tax Credit which reduces provincial school property tax on major industrial (class 4) and light industrial (class 5) properties was introduced for the 2009 and subsequent taxation years. For 2009 and 2010, the credit reduced school taxes by 50 percent. For the 2011 and subsequent taxation years, the rate is increased to 60 per cent.
· The Industrial Property Tax Credit applies to British Columbia manufacturing, mining, forestry and other major and light industries many of which are located in the province’s rural areas.
· Major industries such as forestry, mining, oil and gas, and transportation provide thousands of jobs for rural and remote communities. BC’s resource and manufacturing sectors will benefit significantly from the HST as their business inputs and exports are no longer taxed.
· Sales tax harmonization will account for an $11.5 billion increase in capital investment and a net increase of 113,000 jobs by the end of the decade, according to a report by economist and tax expert Jack Mintz.
8. BC Mining Exploration and Flow-Through Share Tax Credits
· The BC Mining Exploration Tax Credit provides a refundable tax credit equal to 20 per cent of eligible BC Grassroots mineral exploration expenditures. In mountain pine beetle affected areas there is an additional 10 per cent credit to a maximum of 30 per cent.
· The BC Mining Flow-Through Share Tax Credit allows individuals who invest in flow through shares to claim a non-refundable tax credit equal to 20 per cent of their BC eligible grassroots exploration expenditures. The 2010 BC Budget extended the BC Mining Flow-Through Share Tax Credit to December 31, 2013.
9. Distant Region Film Tax Credit
· BC film tax credits are designed to encourage film, television, digital animation and visual effects production in BC.
· For productions distant from the lower mainland and the capital regional district an additional credit is available to encourage production activity in those areas.
10. Corporate Income Tax Rate Reductions
· Reductions in the corporate income tax rate from 16.5 per cent to 10.5 per cent since 2001 and the planned reduction to 10 per cent in 2011, combined with federal tax rate cuts that will take effect in 2012, mean that British Columbia businesses will enjoy the lowest corporate income tax rate in the G7 by 2012.