BC Budget 2021 focuses on individuals rather than business - Retail Council of Canada
Advocacy | British Columbia | Finance & Taxation

BC Budget 2021 focuses on individuals rather than business

April 20, 2021

Finance Minister Selina Robinson tabled a budget that relied heavily upon recent Government announcements regarding COVID-19 relief.  The budget contained extensive financial support for social programs including health care, child care and long-term care for seniors.

Sales Tax Measures

  • Effective April 21, 2021, electric bicycles and tricycles are exempt from provincial sales tax (PST). Conversion kits to electrify conventional bicycles and tricycles and their parts and services are also exempt from PST; 
  • Effective July 1, 2021, the tax rate for cigarettes will increase from $59 to $65 per carton of 200 cigarettes (29.5 cents to 32.5 cents per cigarette). The default tax on heated tobacco products will also increase from 29.5 cents to 32.5 cents per heated tobacco product. The tax rate for loose tobacco (tobacco in a form other than cigarettes, cigars or heated tobacco products) will increase from 39.5 cents per gram to 65 cents per gram; and,
  • Effective April 1, 2021, the Provincial Sales Tax Act is amended to clarify that the exemption for water does not apply to beverages taxed under the soda beverage measures announced in Budget 2020;

Other Tax Measures

  • As previously announced in September 2020, carbon tax rate increases were delayed by one year. The carbon tax rate rose to $45/tonne as of April 1, 2021, and will rise to $50/tonne on April 1, 2022; and,
  • After an average 25% reduction in commercial property taxes for 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be a return to pre-pandemic tax rates for commercial properties in the 2021 tax year.