The Surrey Board of Trade has released a report that urges the provincial government to modernize the tax system as it relates to business.
The report, BC Tax Review – For A Competitive Economy, proposes a groundwork for the government to implement a tax review.
Anita Huberman, CEO of the board, says it has been advocating for a review of the taxation system in BC and Canada for many years.
“We need to modernize our tax systems and tax structures to reduce bottom line erosion. Paying taxes and the inefficiencies of the tax system adds cost, reduces time spent on growing businesses and reduces BC’s ability to be competitive to sustain and attract businesses,” she said.
“We need to determine what works and what doesn’t. A review of the tax system could find ways to eliminate redundancies, create simplification and generate new revenue opportunities for government, while saving businesses money and administrative burdens. With simplicity, efficiency, and certainty comes international competitiveness and productivity.”
The byproducts of a tax review, Huberman noted, include potentially reducing the rising cost of living, driving down debt, creating economic growth, improving international competitiveness and increasing efficiency. The seven-page report, presented to Premier David Eby, states businesses here in B.C. have been “burdened with rising costs, limited ability to expand, and red tape for years,” exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, “which has lasting impacts to many communities and sectors today.”
“Tax systems have become complicated, caused by piecemeal policy implementation, structural and ideological changes, and politicized budget processes,” the report states.
Meantime, Huberman has been appointed to Invest Vancouver Management Board, with Surrey city Councillor Harry Bains serving as its vice-chairman.
“I look forward to working with Invest Vancouver to attract business and human capital into the Metro Vancouver region – which will also bring economic development assets and industry clusters to Surrey,” Huberman said. “We need to leverage the work of our regional economic development entity which the City of Surrey pays into. In order for Surrey to grow its economy, regional collaboration and investment must not only happen when there is a transformational opportunity, but become the standard operating procedure.”