250 News - Your News, Your Views, Now

October 27, 2017 8:47 pm

Business Paying Unfair Share of School Taxes says CFIB

Wednesday, October 12, 2016 @ 5:58 AM

Prince George, B.C. – The Canadian Federation of Independent Business  says  the  difference between  what residents pay  in the way of school taxes  and what businesses pay  in B.C.  is  alarming.

The  school tax rate is the same  throughout the province  for businesses.  That is not the case for  residential property owners where the rate could  fluctuate based on the total number of residences and the assessed property values.  The CFIB  looked at 161 communities  in B.C.  and  labelled the difference  between what a business pays and  residential property owners pay as the  “school tax gap”,  so  for example,  a community  that has a “gap” of 2  means  businesses in that  community are paying  twice the amount of school taxes as  a residential property owner with the same  assessed property value.

This is one tax study  which  puts Prince George  in  a  good light,  as the report says  P.G. has the lowest gap among communities  examined with populations over 50 thousand.  The P,G.  “gap ” is  1.94.  and that the “gap”  dropped by 0.7 between 2014 and 2015, and  decreased 6.1 over  five years.

The CFIB says the system  is unfair  particularly in communities with high real estate values, meaning  business owners in the lower mainland  are paying   what the CFIB calls a disproportionate  share of school taxes.

“CFIB has long tracked the inequity in municipal property taxes. However, this report shows the problem is just as bad in the provincial school tax system,” notes Aaron Aerts, BC Economist. “This report provides clear evidence businesses are on the hook for an unreasonable amount of the school tax bill. The provincial government needs to take a close look at how it sets tax rates, as the current system places an unfair burden on many small businesses.”

Aerts says while there have been  some decreases in the “gap”  over the past five years,  there is still a lot of work to be done to improve the system “Some businesses continue to pay over three or four times more than residents on the same property value,”




Can I just say that ‘school taxes’ are a misnomer. Not since the provincial government took over the financial management of the education system quite a long time ago (since before I ever paid property taxes) the payment requested for school taxes is not actually paid to school districts. Instead it goes to the Provincial general revenues and is distributed according to the whims of the government’s financial plans.

It confounds me that even today, people continue to think they are directly funding school with this line item on their property tax bill. However the school district you live in doesn’t see that money on a dollar for dollar basis at all.

I don’t think the property tax should refer to this annual fee as school taxes at all because there is little relationship between the bill and the facts.

    You raise a good point missing Poppa!

Oh please, enough of beating on the people with the guts and drive to open a business. Start taxing the freeloaders outside city boundries, in the regional district appropriate tax rates. They use our roads, our services, everything we have and pay jack squat in property taxes towards it.

    You really are ridiculous. I know someone who lives outside city boundaries. They pay almost as much if not more property tax than I do living in the core and they get nothing in the way of services for that money. They have to maintain their own water and sewer system and they don’t get garbage pick up. As for roads, they pay gas taxes like everyone else in this province.

    If there is any entity that isn’t paying their fair share toward road maintenance, it is the business community: especially big business.

      Another clueless taxpayer. Beaverly pays 142$ per 100k appraised value. Thats not even 1200$ a year in taxes. That house in the city, would pay 5500+ in Taxes.

      Try comparing apples to apples next time. Maintain their own water? It’s a well, with a pump.. nothing to it. Garbage pickup? Who cares, I’d rather haul my own to the dump at 6$ a pop, then pay for curbside anyways. Plus, most places out west get a free card to the Vanway transfer station, or the Blackwtaer site.

      YRB does the roads, and cleans them better and faster than the city does.

      Another PG resident who hasn’t a clue about what a business pays in tax, or those outside the city limits.

    true point

Wah Wah Wah.

Residences do not make profit like businesses no do residences use same degree of utilities as a homeowner

    yep make all the businesses unprofitable, than dumb people like you can start working for minimum wages at Walmart.

“British Columbia has one of North America’s most competitive tax climates for businesses. Personal tax rates are also competitive. British Columbia’s general corporate income tax rate is 11 per cent, among the lowest in Canada. Our combined federal-provincial rate is 26 per cent, among the lowest in G7 countries.”


Take a hike business, you use our tax payer funded public roads, your managers and workers children are enrolled in local public schools, you enjoy the lowest combined tax rate in G7 countries, so quite your belly aching!

Don’t get me started with business subsidies, and tax breaks.

    Businesses also provide employment, there are only so many cushy government/city union jobs to go around. I am going to go out on a limb JGalt and say you are a strong union guy, possibly even a shop steward, and at the same job for 20+ years.

      Whether he is or not, doesn’t hinder that he provided a link to support his statement that businesses in BC enjoy some of the lowest tax rates In Canada, so they should quit whining about how hard done by they always claim to be.

      JGalt if I’m not mistaken is one of the lowest rated Dr’s in town. Read some of the reviews of his skills and I am sure it is the same person. Rude, arrogant, rants, only listens to himself. These are all ratings for J Galt the Dr, sound familiar?

      “Whether he is or not, doesn’t hinder that he provided a link to support his statement that businesses in BC enjoy some of the lowest tax rates In Canada, so they should quit whining about how hard done by they always claim to be.”

      The fact that BC is Business friendly doesn’t alter the fact they pay more in “school taxes” then a residence with an equal assessed property value. Hardly seems fair when the majority of small business owners are not making oodles of money.


      I pay school taxes and don’t even have kids, so you are barking up the wrong tree if you think I’m going to feel sorry that a business owner has to pay school taxes. They should pay even more because, by and large, businesspeople are the greatest benifitors of an educated workforce.

      Obviously, small businesspeople are still earning more on average than the people they employ, since I don’t see business owners quitting enmass to join the ranks of the wage slaves. So regardless of the allegedly onerous taxation, businesspeople still manage to make plenty more than an employee. Yet, a pile of you people think that lesser paid employees should absorb your costs for a civil, advanced society. Pathetic.

      You went to school did you not? Did you pay for that yourself or was it funded by the taxpayers? Now that you got what you needed you think it’s OK to not pay to educate the next generation?

      Society as a whole benefits from an educated work force, small business owners are a small part of society.

      You assume small business people are making more then their employees based on the fact they haven’t quit? A lot of us barely make minimum wage if we were to factor in the number of hours we work. We like being our own bosses and the thought of working for someone else is quite frankly, depressing.

      I think that more than a few posters on this site would be a bit surprised to find that when the number of hours worked by business owners are factored into the income drawn by the business owners, some owners are making less per hour worked than their employees!


      I’m not the one complaining about having to pay school taxes. You people are. I’m just using your own metric that if you people should pay a lot less into educating people then I shouldn’t have to pay anything.

      And don’t give me that load about preferring to be your own boss. The main reason people go into business is to make more money than they could working as an employee. Whether it is up front as an income or on the backend when they sell the business or both, the motive is always money, not love of self-employment. If the financial rewards were not greater than the effort put in, a person would not operate a business no matter how much they loved being the boss.

      “I pay school taxes and don’t even have kids, so you are barking up the wrong tree if you think I’m going to feel sorry that a business owner has to pay school taxes.”

      If that’s not a complaint, I don’t know what is.

      I get the distinct impression you know absolutely nothing about running a small business. Channel your inner gus and look up the bankruptcy rates for small business then tell me again how flush with cash they are.

      I never said running one was easy or that everyone succeeds when they open one. I know that the failure rate of startups can be as high as 80%.

      I did say that people who start a business do so with the expectation that they will make a lot more money doing so than if they work a wage slave job. Whether they succeed or not has nothing to do with initial motivation.

      If they start a business with out knowing what they are in for tax-wise then they can expect to be part of the 80% that fail and for good reason.

    bah,… must be a left wing nut.

Business owners don’t pay taxes . Businesses customers are down loaded the cost of taxes in the price of doing business . Always have . Always will .

I think you shouldn’t be calling other people dumb when you make rodiculous statements like the above.

    That was aimed at He spoke.

    Rodiculous and dumb, in the same sentence? Go figure!

      Try improving your reading comprehension if the use of dumb and ridiculous in the same sentence is escaping you. It is obvious to anyone with basic intelligence that I made a typing error and failed to catch it before I posted. It happens when a person uses a touch keyboard on a phone.

      Sorry if I hurt your feelings Hahaha, but I couldn’t resist commenting after seeing your spelling mistake in a post about not calling other people dumb!

      What was is that you stated in an earlier post?

      Oh, yeah, right, it was “Wah Wah Wah”.

      Also, what I posted wasn’t a complaint. It was an observation on your worthless post. Thank you for confirming my suspicions regarding your comprehension level. LOL

      Hahaha, I respectfully suggest that if you are going to spout off as if you possess some sort of intellectual superiority, you may wish to invest in some sort of spellcheck software!

      I wasn’t the one who decided to play internet spelling cop. You did. So if there was anyone trying to act like the intellectual superior it was you. I just responded to your smug ass jab in kind.

      I’ve haven’t played spelling and grammar cop on any of the posts on this site, because I realize that many people here are using phones and pads as input devices and that many people post quickly and miss things, even if they proofread once.

      You are no exception when it comes to posting with typos and grammatical errors. I just didn’t bother throwing them in your face; however, if you would like me to play Internet cop and syart pointing out all your mistakes I can certainly oblige you.


      There. I caught that one after I posted, so keep your badge in your pocket Constable.

      I’ll let you find the other one I missed Constable. I know it will give you a warm fuzzy feeling finding it.

      Hahaha, glad that I was able to keep you on your toes! You really do need to get some “thicker skin” though, haha!

      Here Hahaha, I’ll give you one! See if you can find the mitsake!

Whoever thinks that people living in a regional district don’t pay their fair share of taxes…give your head a shake! Fire ins. for one…big diff. Sewer development engineered 30,000 bucks. Ever pay for a couple of hydro poles and install?? GAS line…drill a well at 30 bucks /ft.x250 ft. No garbage p/u…road maintenance sketchy at best. Cost of fuel to commute to and from work…all the above tax applicable.Just remember there is only two things in life you cant get away with and that’s death&taxes…so shut up and pay your taxes like everyone else.

    One time costs, usually in the price of the lot that has nothing to do with taxes/fees paid annually. City lots also need services which have one time costs to them, just that the ones provided by the city have ongoing taxes and levies to them. Insurance is no different at the rural edge of city limits or on the other side, may be different from the VLA next to a hydrant but other than that not much. Compare apples to apples, compare a house at say on Sykes or Purdue with a house on Frenkel for taxes, levies and insurance – both on septic and well and tell me who comes out on top? The difference is about a minute to and from downtown and both are within the same distance to a fire hall for insurance purposes.

    Here is an example for you: A house listed on Haldi Lake Road 628,000 appraised value and 6,196.73 taxes in 2016 and a house listed on Chief Lake Road 650,000 appraised value and 2,100.94 taxes in 2016. Both have no outside services except hydro and gas, can you guess which one is in city limits?

Hahaha just because BC may or may not have the lowest tax rates in Canada doesn’t mean businesses are not being hosed. Taxes are too high for everyone, business and personal, IMO.

    What are you willing to give up to continue lowering taxes? Medicare? Police and fire services? Even more road and infrastructure maintenance?

    What are you willing to live with out to get your taxes to zero which, ultimately, is what you right wingers want?

      I for one would be more than willing to live without the never ending increases in wages, benefits and taxpayer funded pensions for public sector employees!

      How is that for a start?

      How about the Government control their out of control spending for starters? I totally agree with Hart guy.

      I’d think opportunists like you two would be rushing to apply for all that free money, cushy jobs and “golden” pensions. Methinks you doth protest too much about all those cushy, monetarily rewarding government jobs. Not even you people believe all the bull**** you are spouting.

By saying that businesses are paying an unfair share of school taxes, the CFIB is effectively saying that they would prefer to have individuals pay more so that they can pay less. That’s the bottom line.

So the issue is whether this is a reasonable request or not. Right now, businesses pay school taxes. Individuals with kids pay school taxes. Individuals without kids pay school taxes. Basically everybody pays them. This is because we all benefit as a society from an educated population.

So what is the CFIB’s proposal? How would they like to see the tax burden shifted? Perhaps businesses should pay based on the sector they work in? If you require highly skilled employees to make your business successful (and thus get more out of the education system), maybe your burden should be greater. What about basing it in total number of employees? The more employees you have (and thus the more people who used the system), the more you pay?

If there is a perception that business in being unfairly taxed, then come up with a model that makes more sense and make the pitch. I could see a scenario where small business ends up paying less, but larger businesses end up paying more. What’s fair is fair, isn’t it?

“Free Loaders are shopping in your City and keeping the Stores open and some of you employed . What a Comment to call People outside your City ” Free Loaders”. You know we are Costumers and spending our Dollars in your City ! I go for the best Deal and in this Case it’s the City, for Cars and what ever I need.

GOOD NEWS story bout the local Band putting in a gas station, means more competition and cheaper than Costco..AND we are NOT allowed to comment on the story ??? Come on… this is BIG News and people should be allowed to PRAISE the Band for moving forward in their endevours and self determination

    Agree totally Stillsmokin.
    I assume that the site moderator is concerned that negative comments will be made toward native people.

    The CFIB is only doing their job, they are mandated to represent small business in Canada, and keeping pressure on Provincial governments is one of their main jobs. Business owners, if they choose, pay dues to belong to the CFIB, they might expect that organization to be visible.
    So relax.

A lot of the regular pro union pro labour left wing residents on this site have been knocking both “business” and “business owners”!

These same regulars tell us that we should appreciate our public sector workers! We should appreciate teachers, healthcare workers, municipal, provincial and federal civil servants and union reps just to name a few!

Ok, so if we are supposed to appreciate these groups, why don’t you appreciate businesses, including small businesses?

When your car or truck breaks down, where will you take it for repairs? A small business perhaps?

When your furnace or your hot water tank craps out, who will you call to come and fix it? A small business perhaps?

When you go out for dinner or order take-out, there is a very good chance it will be from a small business!

If not for business, or small business for that matter, what would you do in the event that any of these situations arise?

    Many years ago, one of my post-secondary professors asked us what we would do if we were business owners and we saw a vehicle pull into our parking lot just as we were about to lock the front door of our business at the end of the day!

    Would we lock the door and turn out the lights or would we wait at the door for the customer, leaving the door unlocks so as to let them in?

    The answer of course, is obvious!

    At this time of year, people will be lined up at tire shops, waiting their turn to have their winter tires installed. Many tire shops, as they do each and every year, will stay open late to provide their services to their customers!

    Show up at City Hall, or at the Provincial Access Centre or ICBC a minute before closing! Don’t be surprised if some staff member is already locking the door while telling you that you will have to come back tomorrow!

    Generally speaking, while acknowledging that there may be exceptions to the rule, this is the difference between the public sector mentality and a business mentality!

      Hahaha, I left you another mistake! It’s pretty obvious!

      I’ll leave the position of Internet spelling cop to you, Jethro.

Comments for this article are closed.