B.C. budget 2020 includes tax increases on top income earners, pop drinkers

The B.C. government is increasing taxes on the rich and pop drinkers to help fund the continuation of its affordability agenda.

Finance Minister Carole James announced in the 2020 budget the marginal tax rate for those making more than $220,000 a year will be 20.5 per cent. The increased rate will bring in an estimated additional $216 million next year.

The government will also start charging the provincial sales tax on carbonated drinks that contain sugar, natural sweeteners or artificial sweeteners, making them seven per cent more expensive. The change comes into effect July 1, 2020.

“This is a health initiative to see how we grow healthy young people,” James said.

“I think it’s interesting that if you look at the largest consumption of pop it’s 14- to 18-year-olds. We want to do our part to set the stage for a healthy life ahead.”

The province is projecting a budget surplus of $227 million in 2020-21, $179 million in 2021-22 and $374 million in 2022-23.

Kris Sims of The Canadian Taxpayers Federation says by removing PST exemption on soft drinks, British Columbians will actually not be able to see the impact of the change on the shelves.

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