2016-17 Public Accounts Released, Reveals $2.7 Billion Surplus
Victoria, B.C. – $2.7 billion.
That was the operating surplus in British Columbia according to the 2016-17 Public Accounts released today by B.C. Finance Minister Carol James.
The surplus shows the Province’s financial picture as of March 31, 2017.
In addition to the $2.7 billion surplus, the operating surplus shows a $3.4 billion increase in revenue over the forecast and total expenses of $1.3 billion higher than budgeted.
The Public Accounts also shows a $591-million increase in overall debt. The increase comes from a $1.2-billion decrease in taxpayer-supported debt offset by an increase of $1.8 billion in self-supported debt.
Revenue from taxation was $2.8-billion higher than budgeted. This increase included $1.5-billion more than budgeted in personal income tax revenue, $853 million of which came from prior year tax adjustments.
Increased tax revenue also included $305 million more in provincial sales tax, $787 million more in property transfer tax and $212 million more in corporate income tax.
Moving forward, the outlook is for continued and stable growth. Preliminary data shows B.C.’s real GDP grew an estimated 3.7 per cent in 2016.
“This is the tabling of the previous government’s work,” James told reporters. “It points to two things – to B.C.’s strong economic performance in 2016-17 – especially compared to other provinces. But it also shows the lack of a balanced approach to the economy and a lack of investing in hard working British Columbians. That’s a shift you’ll see in our government.”
She said the provincial budget update set to be presented on Sept. 11 will include “key, targeted investments to begin to increase affordability and supports for services that people count on most.”
James also noted the cost of wildfires – which are already $389 million over budget with half the wildfire season to go – will also be a major consideration.
She added ICBC will be “a challenge and a huge pressure on the upcoming budget” though she promised it will still be balanced. James said Attorney General David Eby will have more to say about ICBC next week.