Taxes

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BC Tax Commission focuses on business and not the rest of us

Nov 23, 2016
This fall we presented recommendations to the provincial government’s “Commission on Tax Competitiveness”, which released its final report today. But the Commission suffered from a basic flaw: an exclusive focus on business taxes. What about how BC’s overall tax system affects the large majority of British Columbians? The Commission’s terms of reference precluded consideration of… View Article
Photo by Goh Iromoto

The case for a progressive property tax

Nov 2, 2016
In 1993, then-Finance Minister Glen Clark tabled a controversial BC Budget, featuring a wide range of tax changes. A one-point increase in the provincial sales tax was the largest measure, tempered by the introduction of a refundable sales tax credit. Most of the budget measures increased taxes on the wealthy and corporations. Up went the… View Article
Photo: Ryan Swift / Flickr. Art installation by Kathryn Walter.

Rising housing prices fuel the growing gap

Sep 19, 2016
Vancouver is now a “city of millionaires”, according to Environics’ 2016 Wealthscapes report: In B.C., the red-hot real estate market fueled a rise in average net worth, producing Canada’s first “city of millionaires”: Vancouver. In 2015, the average net worth of Vancouver households hit $1,036,202 – an impressive 7.1 percent increase over the previous year. You are forgiven if… View Article
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BC should eliminate the MSP. Here are two better options.

Jul 6, 2016
The MSP has been in the news a lot in recent months, and with good reason: it’s an unfair tax that needs to be eliminated. The BC government announced some reforms to MSP in Budget 2016, in response to mounting pressure from grassroots organizations like the BC Health Coalition, concerned citizens and both opposition parties…. View Article
Photo by Goh Iromoto

Affordable housing and its discontents

May 19, 2016
The public and media response to my new study on affordable housing  exceeded expectations. I anticipated some really strong pushback against my proposals, because they’re pretty radical in today’s context where private sector development is taken for granted, and global capital flows into local real estate go largely unquestioned. By and large, the report was covered… View Article