For the fourth year in a row, the B.C. government is hiking Medical Services Premiums in January, but that's not the only way taxpayers will be handing over more of their pay cheques to the government.
The increased premium will mean those making over $30,000 will pay the full rate of $66.50 for individuals, $120.50 for families of two, and $133 for families of three or more, every month.
About one million individuals and families with an income of less than $30,000 or less pay subsidized rates, and about 800,000 low income individuals and families with a net income of less than $22,000 pay no MSP fees.
But Jordan Bateman, the B.C. Director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, is still concerned about the MSP hikes, which do not rise with your income above $30,000.
"So if you're a single mom making $30,001 a year waiting tables somewhere, you pay the same MSP as someone scoring 50 goals and making $60 million a year from the Vancouver Canucks," said Bateman.
Bateman notes MSP has increased 24 per cent in just three years — adding $300 in annual taxes over that span.
"It's a tax grab, plain and simple, and it's costing British Columbian even more this year."
According the 2012/13 budget figures, the province's residents paid more than $2 billion in MSP premiums, more than double the amount they paid a decade ago when MSP generated about $900 million per year for the government.
EI and CPP also rising
Federal taxes for Employment Insurance and the Canada Pension Plan will also be higher in 2013.
Canadian workers earning at least $47,400 will pay $891.12 in EI premiums, up $51.50. Employers will pay $1,247.57 per employee, an increase of $71.61.
For anybody earning at least $51,100, Canada Pension Plan contributions are going up $49.50 to $2,356.20, with the employer’s share jumping an identical amount.
Bateman says other tax and fee increases expected in B.C. this year include:
- TransLink raises transit fares 10 per cent Jan. 1.
- Fraser Valley B.C. Transit fares rise 28 per cent Jan. 1.
- Half-price Port Mann Bridge tolls end March 1 for unregistered vehicles.
- B.C. Hydro raises rates 3.91 per cent April 1.
- TransLink property taxes rise 1.5 per cent July 1
- Property taxes in most cities will rise July 1 by two to three per cent.
- Metro Vancouver’s regional property tax increases 1.35 per cent July 1.
- Golden Ears Bridge tolls rise at rate of inflation (1.4 per cent) July 15.