British Columbia Budget 2019 Highlights
British Columbia Minister of Finance, Carole James, tabled Budget 2019—Making Life Better, on February 19, 2019. The Budget projects surpluses of $274 million for 2019-2020, $287 million for 2020-2021, and $585 million for 2021-2022. The Budget contained a handful of new tax measures, the highlights of which are discussed below.
B.C. Child Opportunity Benefit
The new refundable B.C. Child Opportunity Benefit will replace the early childhood tax benefit, effect October 1, 2020. Where the old benefit only applied for families with a child under the age of 6, the new benefit applies to families with children under the age of 18. The maximum annual benefit is $1,600 for the first child, $1,000 for the second child, and $800 for each additional child. The benefit is reduced at a rate of 4% of family income over $25,000, until the benefit amounts plateau at $700 for the first child, $680 for the second child, and $660 for each subsequent child. The benefit is further reduced by 4% of the amount by which family income exceeds $80,000 until it is completed eliminated. The benefit will be administered with the federal Canada Child Benefit, so families who are already registered will automatically receive the new benefit.
Climate Action Tax Credit
The maximum amount of the climate action tax credit will be increased to:
- $154.50 per adult, and $45.50 per child, effective July 1, 2019;
- $174 per adult, and $51 per child, effective July 1, 2020; and
- $193.50 per adult, and $56.50 per child, effective July 1, 2021.
Small Business Venture Capital Tax Credit Program
The Budget announced numerous changes to the small business venture capital tax credit program. Most importantly, the annual limit that an individual can claim for the credit is increased to $120,000 from $60,000, effective for investments made after February 19, 2019 and the 2019 taxation year. Also, effective February 20, 2019, the maximum amount that eligible business corporations can raise through the program is increased to $10 million from $5 million. The various other changes are discussed in the full Budget Dispatch.
Other Notable Changes
- the training tax credits are extended by one year to the end of 2019;
- the farmers’ food donation tax credit is extended by one year to the end of 2020;
- the mining flow-through share tax credit is made permanent, effective January 1, 2019;
- the mining exploration tax credit is made permanent upon the royal assent of enacting legislation; and
- the pension tax credit is expanded to apply to certain retirement benefits paid to veterans, effective retroactively to 2015.
For a comprehensive analysis of the British Columbia Budget, the Budget Dispatch can be found on IntelliConnect and in the News Tracker email for February 19, 2019.