British Columbians can expect an increase in many premiums and utility fees in 2017.

New year brings higher costs for British Columbians

Canadian Taxpayers Federation points the finger at provincial and local governments

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation has released its annual report crunching the numbers on new year’s tax changes for British Columbians.

Costs will decrease for federal Employment Insurance premiums, but that’s one of the few bright points, says Jordan Bateman, CTF’s B.C. director.

“What the feds giveth in tax relief, the provinces and cities more than happily taketh away,” he said.

“It will be another year with higher taxes and fees for BC taxpayers.”

Among the increases the CTF points to are:

  • Medical Services Premium tax (January 1, 2017) – Any couple without children making more than $45,000 will pay $168 more this year. Any senior couple making more than $51,000 will pay $168 more this year. However, some households will see MSP go down, including singles making less than $42,000, couples making less than $45,000, senior couples making less than $51,000, single parent families, and families with kids making less than $51,000.
  • BC Hydro (April 1, 2017) – The average residential customer will pay $49.32 more this year.
  • ICBC (January 16, 2017) – The average driver will pay $42 more this year for basic insurance and $18 more for optional insurance.
  • Property taxes (July 1, 2017) – Many cities across B.C. are still finalizing their tax hikes, but most are raising taxes two to five per cent.