B.C. Finance Minister Carole James (Arnold Lim/Black Press)

B.C. budget surplus projected to grow despite real estate, ICBC dips

Finance Minister Carole James credits higher income tax revenue

The B.C. government’s budget surplus is projected to reach $1.35 billion by the end of the fiscal year in March 2019, Finance Minister Carole James says.

Presenting the province’s second quarter financial report Monday, James said B.C. continues to benefit from higher than forecast personal and corporate income tax revenue, with strong employment and 2.4 per cent growth in the economy, the highest in Canada.

The continued surplus comes in spite of an expected $150 million drop in property transfer tax revenue, and an additional $206 million decrease in net revenue from the Insurance Corp. of B.C. Forest fire and flood costs were up $160 million above last February’s budget forecast.

Growth projections are helped by the signing of a new Canada-U.S.-Mexico trade agreement, and a decision by LNG Canada to proceed with a natural gas export terminal at Kitimat.

James said the state of the province’s books halfway through the fiscal year allows her to state that the province’s direct operating debt has been eliminated. The previous B.C. Liberal government projected that as early as three years ago.

Capital debt continues to rise, financing construction of schools, hospitals and the NDP government’s housing plan, but James said the province’s debt-to-GDP ratio is now the lowest it has been since the 2008 financial crisis.

Income tax revenue is projected to come in $1.6 billion higher than forecast. Natural resource income to the province is also running $51 million higher as of September, the halfway point of the fiscal year.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Vernon bylaw says Frosty has to go: store owner

Vernon Teach and Learn told to take down inflatable snowman

Night eyes for Kamloops-based air ambulance

Helicopters equipped with military-grade night-vision technology

City of Vernon invests in safety, infrastructure and well-being in 2020 budget

Firefighters, bylaw and infrastructure behind Vernon’s 4.91% tax hike

Vernon bowlers qualify for YBC provincials

Zakk Hamilton and Liam Arnold capture zone titles to advance to B.C. finals

Vernon Miracle Bucket Society founder fondly remembered

Lezley Wright succumbed to cancer at age 57 on Dec. 7

‘Not a decision I came to lightly:’ Scheer to resign as Conservative leader

Decision comes after weeks of Conservative infighting following the October election

‘British Columbians are paying too much’: Eby directs ICBC to delay rate application

Attorney General David Eby calls for delay in order to see how two reforms play out

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ in B.C. waters

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

Couple who bought $120k banana duct-taped to wall say artwork will be ‘iconic’

Pair compared it to Warhol’s ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans,’ which was initially ‘met with mockery’

Race to replace Andrew Scheer could be a crowded one

Many familiar faces, such as Maxime Bernier, Jason Kenney, Doug Ford and Kevin O’Leary, have said no

Safe donation bins coming to Okanagan streets

UBC Okanagan engineering students help design bins for non-profits

Former Summerland lifeguard will continue to receive pension benefits

Edward Casavant has pleaded guilty to several child sexual assault and pornography charges

Owner surrenders dogs chained up outside among scrap metal, garbage to BC SPCA

Shepherd-breed dogs were living in ‘deplorable conditions.’

B.C. plane crash victim identified; witnesses describe ‘explosion’

He was a flight instructor, charter pilot and owned an airstrip before leaving Alberta

Most Read