Government Duplicity ~ Makes Your Head Spin...
This is a follow up to the May 6, 2017 “Duplicity of the B.C. Provincial Government -Anyone Surprised!” Although this “program” has been widely reported by the mass media, the implications and importance hasn't sunk in to the public consciousness yet – maybe it never will! To clarify, by “Provincial Government” I'm not singling out any one particular political party here, they're all the same in my book, the old sheep skin just keeps getting passed along to the “new” group of politicians. This program has operated under both party's tenure in government so it's interesting to see how they can point the finger at one another when they have both been complicit.
This “program” has been around for some 30 years and provides provincial tax rebates to attract international banks and investment firms to Vancouver and has been allegedly linked to very large amounts of money coming into our real estate market. A report commissioned by the New York Times questioned the alleged job creation results, the lack of transparency and whether B.C. residents reaped any benefits form this program.
The report goes on to reveal that there are some 82 companies in the program called AdvantageBC. Astonishingly, these companies may have been entitled to a 100% tax refund of the corporate income taxes. Furthermore, the B.C. Government does not disclose who these companies are or the kinds of tax breaks they have been given. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of these companies are from China – notice a reoccurring theme here...
John Horgan, the B.C. NDP leader and now de facto Premier has said:
“AdvantageBC seems to advantage for those that back the B.C. Liberal party. We don’t know who these companies are, or how much they’ve been able to pocket over the past number of years.”
Now that the NPD are in a position to do something about this, let's cut them some slack and see what they will do to address this clandestine program that only government bureaucrats and participating corporations are privy to. As often the case, the law-abiding tax payer gets told one thing (or nothing at all) while the government schemes behind the scene supposedly for our best interest – how is this program in the B.C. resident's best interest I ask? Once again, the government claimed that this program was intended to build up Vancouver's reputation as an international financial centre, but at what cost to B.C. residents?
The New York Times reported that “companies can receive refunds on real estate activities with foreigners, including mortgage loans on property in Canada for international buyers. Conducting the same domestic activities for Canadians would not qualify for the refunds. This has raised concerns that the tax refunds may encourage banks and other companies to prioritize foreigners over Canadians in Canada’s overheated housing markets.”
So why don't B.C. residents get the same tax break – just doesn't seem right at all!
Partial Source: Sam Cooper. Vancouver Sun. May 3, 2017.