Canadian economist Bev Dahlby has been named as chair of the B.C. Commission on Tax Competitiveness, Finance Minister Michael de Jong announced today.
Announced with Budget 2016, the commission is tasked with making recommendations that position B.C.’s tax structure to meet the economic realities of the future, while respecting the outcome of the 2011 referendum to eliminate the HST.
Many of B.C.’s taxes were designed in the early 20th century for the 20th-century British Columbia economy – such as the provincial sales tax (PST), introduced in 1948. Since then, B.C.'s economy has undergone significant changes with services now making up three-quarters of the province’s economic activity. Advances in technology have transformed the way business is conducted and services are offered, extending B.C.’s reach into markets around the globe.
Over the next four months, members of the commission will draw on their extensive knowledge of business, economics and taxation to study the Province’s current tax system. They will also undertake targeted public and stakeholder consultations.
Options put forward by the commission will include an analysis of their impact on British Columbians, including taxpayer fairness and household cost of living. The final report will make recommendations about improvements to enhance competitiveness and stimulate economic growth through increased productivity, investment and job creation.
The commission will present its final report and recommendations to the Minister of Finance by Oct. 31, 2016. The Province has budgeted $500,000 for the commission and its operations.
Submissions may be made to the commission at: http://engage.gov.bc.ca/taxcommission/
Minister of Finance Michael de Jong –
“The Commission on Tax Competitiveness brings together a range of experience and expertise to evaluate changes to B.C.’s economy, but also how B.C. fits into the global marketplace both today and well into the future. Their report will provide recommendations for modernizing business taxes, like the provincial sales tax, to enable competitiveness and best-position B.C. business for success.”
Commission chair Bev Dahlby –
“As chair of the Tax Competitiveness Commission, I’m looking forward to hearing British Columbians’ ideas about improving B.C.’s business taxation system in ways that enhance competitiveness and allow B.C. businesses to grow and succeed. These are important issues and now is the time to look at how the tax system fits into the changing economic landscape.”
Visit the B.C. Tax Competitiveness Commission website to learn more about the chair and members: http://engage.gov.bc.ca/taxcommission/
A backgrounder follows.