News Views: Take a hike

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is advising residents to brace for tax and fee hikes.

The new year will be another expensive one in B.C.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is advising residents to brace for tax and fee hikes.

In B.C., there will be at least four such increases.

MSP is going to cost a family of three or more another $96 per year as of Jan. 1.

B.C. Hydro customers will see electricity fees go up six per cent, or $72 per home, on average, as of April 1.

B.C. Ferries will also start charging 3.9 per cent more in fares that day, too.

ICBC, meanwhile, is expected to hike basic auto insurance about $36 per car sometime in 2015.

EI and CPP taxes are going up $23, as well.

And sometime in the new year, Metro residents could be asked on a referendum if they want to add half a per cent to the provincial sales tax to pay for transportation and transit improvements. That could cost the average household $150 to $250 a year – the latter would be the single biggest tax increase in the country in 2015.

We won’t yet start discussing property taxes, but it’s not like they’ve gone down in the past decade or so.

And where is all this money supposed to come from?

The same place as usual: your bank account.

Hopefully your boss was good to you this year.

If not, you’ll have a little less discretionary income for the foreseeable future.

Remember that the next time our elected representatives consider giving themselves a raise. For all their talk about affordability, B.C. just keeps getting to be a more expensive place to live.

The referendum will be an interesting result – will Metro residents agree to hand over more of their money for the betterment of the region, or tell politicians to take a hike and go find, amongst themselves, another way.

If you make just one resolution, could it be to not buckle every time one level of government or another pleads poverty?

– Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News