School district preparing for increased medical taxes

No word yet if government will assist with cost climb with MSP replacement

The Coast Mountains School District is looking at an ongoing medical tax increase of close to $214,000 with the new Employee Health Tax system replacing Medical Services Plan premiums.

During the 2019-20 school year, with the EMT tax in place and MSP not yet fully eliminated, it is expected that health taxes will jump to $337,000.

The B.C. Liberals are calling this a “double tax”, but the increased costs are offset by savings in the 2017-18 school year.

“Yeah, the savings of the 50 per cent reduction of MSP sort of offset the Employee Health Tax in year one and year two,” acknowledged school district secretary-treasurer Alanna Cameron.

Overall, the tax climb averages out to a mid-way increase over the course of three years, and the reason for the so-called double tax in 2019 is timing: the tax changes occur in January but the school district’s fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30.

“We’re the only provincial government body that has a year-end different than March 31,” explained Cameron. “Our year spans a different window of time.”

But long term, the taxation change will mean an ongoing increase in health tax for school districts, she said.

READ MORE: School district adding up cost of new health tax

MSP is being phased out gradually, beginning this year.

For 2018 the district will save close to $124,000, next year roughly $248,000, and the following years $371,000 and $495,000 respectively.

The Employee Health Tax (EMT) will be rolled out halfway through the 2018-19 school year, costing $354,500, and then the full $709,000 every year following.

Overall, the taxation change will cost $320,000 in total during the transition years, an average of $107,000 each year. Once the transition is complete, the school district will have an ongoing tax increase of close to $214,000.

READ MORE: Chilliwack school district has nearly $1 million bill for 2019 in new health tax

READ MORE: Langley school district seeks clarity on new health care payroll tax

Cameron says the school district doesn’t know yet whether those costs will be covered by the government, but it is optimistically expecting it will.

“We have not received notification of additional compensation to cover this additional cost,” she said, adding that the province is announcing its school funding this week.

“On March 15 we will be advised as to what our grant allocation is for next year,” said Cameron, “and within that, we will certainly be able to determine whether this additional cost is funded or not.

“I think our board remains optimistic that government will recognize this as an added pressure and will fund it accordingly,” she said.

The EMT tax, like MSP, pays for medical coverage for the teachers, principals and support staff within the school district.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Chart shows the medical tax changes over the course of the next four years. (Contributed image)

Just Posted

Australian company Woodside ends Grassy Point LNG project

Woodside and Chevron still committed to Kitimat LNG

UPDATE: Haisla Girls – 2018 Junior All-Native basketball tournament

Despite spirited performances Haisla girls lose two of their matches

Kitimat could get bicycle lanes in the future

This project will allow for cyclists no different than any other sidewalk in the community.

Diver airlifted following accident at navy shipwreck

The diver was kept in the chamber while the barge was towed to Hartley Bay

Mayor anticipating Hwy37 improvements

Transportation ministry working on details

Vancouver Aquarium’s resident octopus released into ocean

Staff let the Giant Pacific octopus go into the waters near Bowen Island so she can reproduce

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Canucks find scoring touch in 5-2 win over Blackhawks

Four Vancouver skaters have two points apiece in victory over Chicago

‘Not well thought out:’ Arizona family slams B.C. speculation tax

American family spends half the year in vacation home on Vancouver Island

Family of B.C. wildfire victim wants better emergency preparedness for vulnerable people

Williams Lake’s David Jeff “fell through the cracks”

Senate backs bill to legalize recreational marijuana

Justin Trudeau reminded senators that his government was elected on a promise to legalize pot

Where Canadians buy real estate abroad: report

Hot Spots: Top 30 home-buying destinations for Canadians in the Americas

Ban on grizzly bear hunt, new rules take effect April 1

Taxidermists, tanners will have to report on any grizzly bears or parts brought to them

Ontario father grief stricken over murder of ex-wife and children

‘No words to explain,’ grieving father of slain teens says in statement

Most Read