Province tweaks EHT, but businesses still left in dark
Not-for-profits and provincial public sector organizations are getting some relief from the Employer Health Tax, but there is no light at the end of the tunnel for the private sector.
Employer Health Tax Notice
issued today, the Province raised the level at which the EHT kicks in for charities and not-for-profits from a payroll of $500,000 to $1,500,000. As added relief, these organizations can also calculate their payroll separately if they operate at more than one location, which will result in more payrolls falling below the $1,500,000 threshold.
The provincial public sector will also now be exempted from its EHT burden, with the
Province covering the $90 million
it would have received annually.
However, there is no word yet about help for private businesses or local governments. That means local government will need to pay EHT by raising property taxes -- a further EHT hit to business.
There's more bad news for business as the tax notice defines a wide range of payments that will be included in the definition of payroll: bonuses, tips, RSP contributions, life-insurance premiums, stock option benefits, etc.
And there is no opportunity for a private business to calculate its EHT bill separately for each location it operates.
The Chamber, along with Tourism Victoria, the Downtown Victoria Business Association, the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority and the City of Victoria asked for improvements to the EHT in a letter to the Finance Minister.
In addition The Chamber recently met with the Minister to reiterate this request. We are hopeful that there will be further modification to the EHT before the legislation is introduced this fall.
Please send your concerns directly to the Finance Minister at