Surrey Board of Trade 'cautiously optimistic' about provincial budget
A balanced budget, reasonable and pragmatic for the still tenuous financial times the province is in – that describes the view of the Finance and Taxation Team of the Surrey Board of Trade in response to the budget document presented in Victoria Tuesday afternoon.
“We had asked that the corporate tax rate not be raised, but the one percent increase although not welcome, should not be too onerous,” said Anita Huberman, CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade. “We are pleased that the small business tax will not be increased."
However, Huberman did express concern over the return to the Provincial Sales Tax.
“We are concerned that there was no mention of the PST,” she said, “yet we are still awaiting the full regulations, and April 1 is approaching very quickly.”
The Surrey Board of Trade has been advocating for greater assistance from government, provincial and federal, in easing the burden of working families with small children, and the board welcomes the move to provide some funding relief, Huberman said.
"Education funding remains a priority for the government, and that is very positive. Nevertheless, the Surrey Board of Trade strongly feels the serious funding shortfalls for the South Fraser region, in both public school and post-secondary education, must be addressed by this government as finances allow."
The board also recognized that the carbon tax is not neutral, however, given the times, there can be no expectation of relief from the current level for the foreseeable future.
"In considering their revenues, the government has been prudent and reasonable in taking such a conservative approach, particularly to the natural gas revenues as well as those from other natural resources," Huberman said.
"The Surrey Board of Trade feels cautiously optimistic about the fiscally responsible approach taken to the province’s affairs."