B.C. Budget 2018: New payroll tax offsets loss from cancelling medical premiums (new St. Paul's)

Employers who thought they were off the hook for Medical Services Plan premiums as employee benefits when the NDP government announced the phase-out of premiums last year got a surprise on Tuesday.

The NDP’s budget unveiled a new payroll tax to take effect on Jan. 1, 2019, to offset the loss in revenue from premiums. But the payroll tax will be a new expense for many companies with payrolls over $500,000 who did not pay premiums for their employees; those with payrolls under $500,000 are exempt from the tax.

Noticeably absent from the budget is any mention of the St. Paul’s Hospital redevelopment near Main Street and Terminal Avenue in Vancouver. Health minister Adrian Dix had said last year that he expected financing for a business plan in this budget.

Pamela Fayerman reports

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