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Wednesday
Oct292014

Surrey Board of Trade says governments need to reduce tax burdens to business – Surrey doing better than most cities.

In a just-released study today by the C.D. Howe Institute, it finds that business property taxes and land transfer taxes together represent about two-thirds of the total tax burden on investment in Canada, a large share for governments to continue to ignore.

In “The 2014 C.D. Howe Institute Business Tax Burden Ranking,” authors Adam Found, Benjamin Dachis and Peter Tomlinson conduct groundbreaking research that includes business property taxes and land transfer taxes in measuring the tax bite that can drive away or attract new business investment.

The Surrey Board of Trade – the only one in British Columbia, along with more than 15 Chambers Boards of Trades across the country, asked for this study to be researched and composed by the C.D. Howe Institute. Though it doesn’t address Surrey specifically, generalized estimates for the Vancouver statistics include all of Metro Vancouver.

“To speak to Surrey, specifically, the City continues to maintain a reasonable distribution of property taxes between properties across all assessment classes which include: Class 1 Residential, Class 2 Utilities, Class 4 Major Industry, Class 5 Light Industry, Class 6 Business & Other, Class 8 Rec/Non Profit, Class 9 Farm. Surrey established a goal to obtain by 2021 60% of its property tax revenues from Class 1 residential properties and 40% from the combination of Class 4, 5, and 6 properties; being the major industrial, light industrial and business classes. This goal is to be achieved by growth in the business classes of properties across Surrey – and not by increasing the tax rates of business-related properties at a rate faster than the residential properties,” said Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade. “Surrey provides a sharp contrast to Vancouver, which draws 45 per cent of property tax revenue from businesses compared to only 31 per cent in Surrey. It is clear that Surrey’s municipal taxes for business are one of the lowest in the Metro Vancouver area. This is one of the reasons that business should consider a relocation to Surrey to create the jobs for our growing 2,000 people a month population.”

Despite years of concerted provincial and federal efforts to reduce the tax cost of investment, such as by lowering corporate income taxes, governments need to address a gap in their tax burden measure.

It was noted in the report that current government estimates don’t take into account either provincial and municipal business property taxes or land transfer taxes. “Current government estimates don’t take into account either provincial and municipal business property taxes or land transfer taxes,” remarked Found. “In our estimate, we find that business property taxes and land transfer taxes together represent about two-thirds of the total tax burden on investment in Canada, a large share for governments to continue to ignore.”

The authors recommended that the Federal Department of Finance—which provides the provinces with tax burden estimates—include business property taxes, both provincial and municipal, in its interprovincial comparison of tax burdens.

Tomlinson concludes: “Despite years of concerted provincial and federal efforts to reduce the tax cost of investment, such as by lowering corporate income taxes, governments need to address a gap in their tax burden measure. Our hope is that a more accurate measure of business tax burdens will prompt a closer examination of their potential detrimental impact on business investment.”

The study found that Saint John, Charlottetown, and Montreal have the highest total tax rates. Calgary and Saskatoon lead the pack with the most competitive all-inclusive taxes. The study measured the largest city in each Canadian Province.

For the report: REPORT + APPENDIX

Friday
Oct242014

2014 SURREY BOARD OF TRADE WRITERS' AWARD GOES TO LAURA BRADBURY

At this morning's Annual Surrey Writers' Conference at the Sheraton Hotel, the Surrey Board of Trade presented the 22nd winner of the Surrey Board of Trade Special Achievement Award to Laura Bradbury, in recognition of her work as a writer and her significant contribution to the community of writers.

Laura has been able to turn her experiences into great reading.  She was born in Victoria but her life adventures led her and her husband to establish a network of vacation rentals in France.  Her first book about this adventure was entitled ‘My Grape Escape’. It hit number 1 on Amazon.com in France, and was listed in the top 100 memoirs.  Now her second book in the series called ‘My Grape Village’ is in the top 10 at Amazon.  

The Surrey Board of Trade has sponsored this award for 20 years because business people are writers themselves, working as journalists, public relations or marketing professionals, technical writers, publishers, and of course a few booksellers. “We have an interest in the business of writing and publishing. In a literate society, cultures and peoples are best remembered by the stories that survive them,” said Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade. The purpose of the Surrey Board of Trade Special Achievement Award is to honor writers who have made a significant achievement in their writing careers during the past year.

1.   The person chosen to receive the award must be nominated by someone other than himself/herself.

2.   The recipient must be commercially or self-published within the last year.

3.   Nominees are those who have contributed to the writing community will be given priority consideration.

4.   Works can include books, poetry, short stories, and/or articles. There is no restriction on genre or topic.

Thursday
Oct232014

Surrey Board of Trade Hosts BC Employment Standards Workshop-October 30

The Surrey Board of Trade will be hosting the following workshop: Understanding the BC Employment Standards Act - Trending Topics in the Workplace. Managing your employees is vital to the success of your business. At this workshop businesses will learn about the important aspects of the Employment Standards Act in BC and how to safeguard your business from costly mistakes. Additionally, they will learn about the relevant Human Rights Code sections that could impact your business. Learn about dealing with long-term, aging employees (the baby boomers), pregnancy in the workplace, medical marijuana in the workplace and protecting themselves as an employer. This workshop is presented by Robert Rogers of Hamilton Duncan Armstrong + Stewart Law Corporation.

Date: Thursday, October 30, 2014
Location:
  Surrey Board of Trade office (101-14439 104 Avenue, Surrey)
Time:
Registration – 7:45 a.m. Program - 8:00 – 10:00 a.m.
Admission:
$25 +tax – Members; $35 +tax – Non-members

Pre-registration is required as seats are limited. To register, go online to www.businessinsurrey.com/sidebar-events or contact Jo-Ann Huber at the Surrey Board of Trade at 604-581-7130.

Tuesday
Oct212014

2014 Surrey Business Award Finalists Announced

On Thursday, November 6, 2014, the Surrey Board of Trade will recognize 6 of Surrey’s best businesses in different award categories at the Academy Awards style 16th Annual Surrey Business Excellence Awards. The SBOT’s 16th Annual Surrey Business Excellence Awards, with Presenting Sponsors Kwantlen Polytechnic University and TD Bank, will feature Pamela Martin as Master of Ceremonies. This year’s event will also feature a new Corporate Social Responsibility Award, recognizing a business that is operating in an economically, socially and environmentally responsible manner.

Thursday, November 6, 2014
Networking Cocktail Reception:
  6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Dinner and Awards Presentation:
7:00 – 9:30 p.m.
Location:
  Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel (15269 104th Ave. Surrey, B.C.)
Tickets
are $110 (+GST) each or $1050 (+GST) for a table of 10.

THE 2014 FINALISTS ARE:

Click to read more ...