B.C. Finance Minister Carole James (Arnold Lim/Black Press)

B.C. budget surplus projected to grow despite real estate, ICBC dips

Finance Minister Carole James credits higher income tax revenue

The B.C. government’s budget surplus is projected to reach $1.35 billion by the end of the fiscal year in March 2019, Finance Minister Carole James says.

Presenting the province’s second quarter financial report Monday, James said B.C. continues to benefit from higher than forecast personal and corporate income tax revenue, with strong employment and 2.4 per cent growth in the economy, the highest in Canada.

The continued surplus comes in spite of an expected $150 million drop in property transfer tax revenue, and an additional $206 million decrease in net revenue from the Insurance Corp. of B.C. Forest fire and flood costs were up $160 million above last February’s budget forecast.

Growth projections are helped by the signing of a new Canada-U.S.-Mexico trade agreement, and a decision by LNG Canada to proceed with a natural gas export terminal at Kitimat.

James said the state of the province’s books halfway through the fiscal year allows her to state that the province’s direct operating debt has been eliminated. The previous B.C. Liberal government projected that as early as three years ago.

Capital debt continues to rise, financing construction of schools, hospitals and the NDP government’s housing plan, but James said the province’s debt-to-GDP ratio is now the lowest it has been since the 2008 financial crisis.

Income tax revenue is projected to come in $1.6 billion higher than forecast. Natural resource income to the province is also running $51 million higher as of September, the halfway point of the fiscal year.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Minus two-degree weather a warm welcome following cold snap in Chilliwack

People flocked to the hills Saturday, sleds in hand, to take in some snowy fun in Chilliwack

VIDEO: Highway 1 to look like winter war zone until owners retrieve wrecked vehicles

Tow-truck driver says 30 vehicles still dot snowy landscape, including one rolled-over dairy truck

Charity Clothes2U ready to hand out free items to people in need in Chilliwack

The Clothes2U Winter Giveaway event will be in Chilliwack at Cooke’s Presbyterian Church

Pickup truck motorist drives up vehicle ramp and onto parked trailer on Chilliwack road

The incident happened on Young Road after Chilliwack was handed another dump of snow Friday night

5 to 10 cm of snow still coming to Fraser Valley: Environment Canada

Hard to say when the freezing rain will turn to regular rainfall, Environment Canada says

VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Midnight at the Chilliwack SPCA

Due to out-of-date information on his microchip, Midnight’s owners could not be contacted

Canucks extend home win streak to 8 with 4-1 triumph over Sharks

Victory lifts Vancouver into top spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

BC Green Party leader visits northern B.C. pipeline protest site

Adam Olsen calls for better relationship between Canada, British Columbia and First Nations

‘Extensive’ work planned at Big Bar landslide ahead of salmon, steelhead migration

Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan visited the site of the slide from June

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Royal deal clears way for Harry, Meghan part-time Canada move: experts

Keith Roy of the Monarchist League of Canada said the deal is exactly what Harry and Meghan asked for

Horgan cancels event in northern B.C. due to security concerns, says Fraser Lake mayor

The premier will still be visiting the city, but the location and day will not be made public

B.C. landlord sentenced to two years in jail for torching his own rental property

Wei Li was convicted of intentionally lighting his rental property on fire in October 2017

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Most Read