Letter to Finance Minister
Honourable Carole James
Minister of Finance and Deputy Premier
Room 153 Parliament Buildings
Victoria, British Columbia V8V 1X4
Sent via email
Dear Minister James:
As you prepare for the provincial budget, STEPUP encourages you to repeal the school tax surcharge, which was included in last year’s budget, and comes into effect this year.
STEPUP is a citizens advocacy group founded in 2018. Regrettably, our organized activities commenced after the budget consultations were held in the fall.
Our supporters oppose the school tax surcharge for a number of reasons, including:
The school tax surcharge is a targeted attack on a specific class of citizens.
The school tax surcharge is contrary to Canadian tax policy, as it taxes unrealized gains.
The school tax surcharge is a slippery slope: UBC academics already calling for the taxes to be applied to properties down to $1M, which would capture nearly every single detached home in the City of Vancouver.
School tax encroaches on municipal tax base; this has serious implications to the ability of municipalities to raise revenues.
Our supporters are not alone in their discomfort with this surcharge. Over 23,500 people have signed an online petition asking your government to repeal this tax.
The government of the City of Vancouver has sent you a letter asking you to repeal the tax, and the District of West Vancouver has agreed to the same appeal.
The relatively small amount of estimated revenues from this surcharge would indicate that this is a political attack on an identified group of homeowners, rather than a necessary tax implemented to support provincial policy objectives.
We have seen the impact of this surcharge in our neighbourhoods - it is divisive policy that is arbitrarily pitting one family against another. It contributes to the destruction of the values that we share as British Columbians, including community, unity and rewarding hard work and careful planning.
As taxpayers, we have reasonable expectations of provincial tax policy that is fair, equitable, progressive and in accord with Canadian tax law.
Thank you for your consideration,