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Feb 19, 2013

Budget 2013 takes a prudent approach to returning to balance

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Date ArticleType
2/19/2013 Media Releases
Budget 2013 takes a prudent approach to returning to balance

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

February 19, 2013 - Victoria, BC – Chambers of Commerce congratulated the government for fulfilling their commitment to return to a balanced budget.

“We’ve been pushing governments to make sure they are keeping their fiscal house in order and making sure they are achieving a balanced budget. Doing that means certain tax increases and cuts to other areas.” states Dave Bond Executive Vice President of the Kelowna of Commerce. “However, moving forward we certainly want to see the government address things that make BC more business competitive like the change back to PST from HST and looking at the tax increases and what impact they will all have on BC businesses and how they will keep business competitive.”

Budget 2013 forecasts a modest $197 million surplus in 2013/14. The return to Budget is achieved through a combination of spending restraint and additional revenue measures including an increase to the corporate tax rate effective April 1, 2013, a phase out of the school property tax credit for light industry and an increase in personal income tax for those earning over $150,000.

Although some of the issues that the Kelowna Chamber has put forward, such as more support for organized crime task force and no tax impact for small businesses, there were a number of issues that were not addressed in Budget 2013. “A couple of things that we have been advocating for and pushing the government for,” continued Bond, “ is looking at skills training and incentives for business areas in the Okanagan where competitiveness can be improved such as digital media and other knowledge-based businesses whether it’s health care or high-tech. We will also want the provincial government to address the issues of reducing the property transfer tax.”

The biggest priority for the Kelowna Chamber, states Bond, is to increase the competitiveness of BC businesses. “It’s the little things that add up for small businesses such as increases in MSP and the return to PST – those are the things that impact business competitiveness and those are the things we will be going back to both parties going forward to make sure they are both looking at those issues.”

The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce acts as a single powerful voice for their 1200 members and their 25,000 plus employees to promote local business interests. The Chamber provides a cohesive business network for its members to expand their business contacts, value-added benefits, programs, and services aimed at improving the bottom line of Chamber members. Their mission is to foster a positive business environment by providing members with leadership, advocacy and services of value.

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For more information contact:

Caroline Grover
CEO, Kelowna Chamber of Commerce
544 Harvey Avenue
Kelowna, BC V1Y 6C9
250-469-7356