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.

Just Posted

High winds could lead to dangerous snowmobiling conditions

Advice for staying safe on the mountains Family Day weekend

Clearwater Library hosting open house

Event takes place Feb. 15 from 2—4 p.m.

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

Road conditions for Feb. 15

Slippery sections on Highway 5

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Ammonia leak shuts down curling club in Nelson

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Pavelski’s 31st goal helps Sharks top Canucks 3-2

Vancouver one point out of second NHL wild-card spot

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Most Read