When is enough, enough?
Businesses in BC are being hit from every angle by rising costs and increasing taxes! Our members here in Langley are no different. From the Employer Health Tax, increase to Minimum Wage, increased Property Taxes, BC Hydro rate increase, ICBC rate increase, and the Carbon Tax, that will increase natural gas prices and gasoline prices as of April 1st, there is no end in sight.
In addition to the above, the Federal Government is looking at adding an additional Statutory Holiday and the Provincial Government is also considering 72 recommendations to changing the Employee Standards Act, which suggests 10 paid sick days a year and a change to how statutory holiday pay is considered, which would see almost all staff eligible for stat pay.
We understand that minimum wage increases need to happen to counteract the increase in affordability in the region, and that all employees are eligible for fair pay and stat pay, but at what cost. As all these taxes and rates increase, it means that there is less money available for wages and benefits for employees or for employers to make needed investments in innovation, expansion and tools that could improve worker productivity. This will force employers to make hard decisions. Businesses are being forced to consider letting employees go, reducing their hours or just closing their doors. The cost of being in business is just to high!
In Langley, both the City and the Township have said that we will have an increase to Property Taxes, let’s also remember that the Commercial/Industrial Property Tax Rates are far higher than Residential, sometimes 3x higher. A large portion of the increase to these taxes this year are due to the Provincial Employer Health Tax, which means that businesses will be paying the tax twice!
At the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce, we are working with our Chamber Networks to have your business voice heard in both Victoria and Ottawa. We ask our local businesses to consider attending our upcoming dinner meetings where you can hear from your local MP’s, MLA’s and Mayor’s about these and other issues concerning our community. Together we can hopefully make our governments realize that without a thriving business community we don’t have a community.
If these issues are important to you and you are not a Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce member, perhaps consider joining and adding your voice to the network! To register for any of our upcoming events or to find out more about the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce, please go to our new website at www.langleychamber.com
Jack Nicholson, President