Watch your wallet: New, increased taxes coming to B.C. on April 1
VICTORIA -- You could call it paying the price of COVID-19. The cost of just about everything over the past year seems to have shot up.
"You can see it across the board," said Terry Hogan, a resident of Saanich, on Wednesday. "From clothing to lumber."
"The price of food, the price of gas, just about everything," said Janet Zupanc, another Saanich resident.
We have some bad news for you, as of midnight tonight, the B.C. carbon tax is also increasing. It means life is going to get even more expensive, starting with the price at the pumps.
"That will push average prices here on the island and more specifically, Victoria, to the $1.48 range," said Dan McTeague, president of Canadians for Affordable Energy.
If you’re filling up a minivan, you can expect to spend $7 more, and that has repercussions throughout the economy.
"You increase the cost of everything," said Kris Sims, director of the British Columbia Canadian Taxpayers Federation branch. "You increase the cost of driving to work, you increase the cost of heating your homes and you increase the cost of eating."
Trucking costs will increase, and farmers will feel their purse strings tighten because they pay that same tax on natural gas, which is used for drying grain.
"They need to do that in order to get their product to market," said Sims. "Both for us to buy it as flour, and to feed it to livestock."
Meanwhile, if you like sweetened drinks, as of midnight Thursday B.C. will be charging a seven per cent provincial sales tax on the tasty beverages.
"It’s actually applied to diet pops and those expensive ones you get at the grocery store, the ones that are sweetened with stevia leaf and monk fruit," said Sims. "Even though they contain no sugar, they are still getting the sweetened drink tax."
Have you found yourself watching more streaming services throughout the pandemic? That price is increasing as well. A seven per cent tax will be applied to all foreign streaming services.
"Unfortunately, pretty much all of everyday life is getting hit tomorrow," said Sims. "It’s going to get more expensive."
Even looking towards the summer, hopefully with much of this pandemic in the rear-view mirror, costs are estimated to continue to rise.
"Look out," said McTeague. "We could be looking at a $1.60 for a litre of gasoline here in Victoria."
That's due to pent up travel demand in the U.S., he says.
"I did find something to give you some sunshine," said Sims. "They don’t tax flower seeds or planting bulbs and it is spring time."
"So if you want to do something joyful that doesn’t tax you, go outside, enjoy the sunshine and plant some flowers. They don’t tax you for that," she said.