No relief in sight for school boards hit with surprise employer health tax

 

VICTORIA (May 4, 2018) – School boards across B.C. have finalized their budgets for the upcoming school year this week, and the NDP government has refused to help them find ways to manage the new employer health tax being imposed on them.

Districts of all sizes are being hit with huge tax bills, from Gold Trail ($45,000) to Sooke ($365,000) to Chilliwack ($1,600,000) to Surrey ($7,000,000).

“Let’s be clear: the NDP’s MSP replacement tax is going to have a big impact in classrooms across our province,” says Dan Davies, BC Liberal Education Critic. “School districts were caught off guard with this new NDP tax they didn’t plan for—so how will they make up that money? How many teaching or support positions or classroom resources will this take away from our kids’ schools?”

Districts have been asking for some relief in the form of exemptions or compensation— but so far, the NDP has simply dismissed these concerns and refused to budge.