This revenue -- which doesn't include corporate taxes, property taxes, sales tax or a myriad of other taxes B.C. residents are charged -- pays for things that benefit people far outside the Canuck dressing room. The Canuck players' income tax bill alone covers roughly the cost of 600 young teachers - or 425 Vancouver police officers.
One item sorely missing from the B.C. finance minister's recent budget was a plan to make the province's business taxes more competitive and attractive for investment. When the province shifted back to the PST last year, the cost of doing business and investing increased dramatically. Disappointingly, de Jong's budget did nothing to address this shackle around BC's economy. Tax reform, however, might be the light at the end of tunnel.
Governments can and do cut income tax rates for a variety of political reasons, while simultaneously raising fees on a dizzying array of other services to offset those cuts. Somehow they can do both at the same time with a straight face. A toll here, a casino there and the B.C. government is doing its best to find more-and-more imaginative ways of picking our pockets without hiking income tax rates.