B.C. commission calls for tax reforms, exemptions worth $1.1B to spur investment by The Canadian Press Posted Nov 23, 2016 12:41 pm MDT Last Updated Nov 23, 2016 at 5:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email VICTORIA – British Columbia’s finance minister says the government will study recommendations that the province chop taxes to businesses by about $1.1 billion a year in an effort to spur lagging investment.The expert panel’s report released Wednesday makes four recommendations, including exempting businesses from the seven-per-cent provincial sales tax on capital expenses for items like machinery and equipment.The report, titled Improving B.C.’s Tax Competitiveness, also recommends exempting the PST on electricity costs and other energy, and suggested the province implement a made-in-B.C., value-added tax.The value-added tax would address problems with the PST, including investment disincentives and an increase in business costs, the report says.Finance Minister Mike De Jong said at a news conference Wednesday that the government will examine the report thoroughly.However, a move towards a value-added tax shouldn’t be expected any time soon, because that recommendation would be a “significant shift” requiring extensive research and consultation, De Jong said.“As the commissioners themselves point out, it would require a period of extensive consultation and discussion with British Columbians, so I wouldn’t hold your breath to see that recommendation acted on in the forthcoming budget,” he said.The report was generated after a commission was established by the B.C. government in July to review B.C.’s corporate tax structure and consult with groups, businesses and individuals.Commission spokesman Bev Dahlby said the proposed reforms are required to improve business investment in B.C., which is currently behind most other provinces.Removing the provincial tax on capital investments for machinery and equipment would cost the province $640 million annually, while taking the PST off electricity and other energy costs amounts to $520 million a year.But the report said those measures would be offset by increased investments from businesses and likely higher wages for workers, which increases income revenues for the province.“The PST is a very complex tax that places a significant amount of burden on businesses, especially small businesses,” Dahlby said in the report.He said during public meetings, many businesses said they would rather the province tackle PST reforms than reduce corporate taxes.“One small business said the complexity of the PST means it acts like a tax on entrepreneurship.”The report said the complexity of the PST creates a major burden on businesses, diverting effort from more productive and potentially growth-creating activities.That feeling is nothing new, De Jong said.“I think the commissioners have pointed out that the complexity of the existing PST system is something that frustrates people. We knew that,” he said.The minister acknowledged that PST and capital investment are lingering areas of concern that need to be addressed, but said the province has a competitive tax structure in many other areas.The report did not examine B.C.’s carbon tax or a return to the harmonized sales tax, which British Columbians turned down in a referendum more than five years ago.The minister also noted that B.C.’s economy is still performing well.“It continues to lead the country in terms of growth and job creation and we continue to be the envy of most jurisdictions, not just in Canada, but in North America,” De Jong said.
OSU then-sophomore guard Kelsey Mitchell (3) dribbles the ball during a game against Nebraska on Feb. 18 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Lantern File PhotoBehind size and athletic advantages, No. 12 Ohio State went inside early and often and used an early 19-0 run to down the Southern Jaguars 108-73 on Wednesday evening. With a 58-16 scoring advantage in the paint and a 31-of-40 mark from the free-throw line, OSU grabbed its second win in a row.“We knew we had a size advantage, so we wanted to get the ball in the paint,” OSU head coach Kevin McGuff said. “We did that.”After the Jaguars scored the first two points of the game, OSU dropped the game’s next 19 points before Southern finally hit its second field goal with 4:04 remaining in the first quarter. The Buckeyes used 70.6 percent shooting (12-for-17) in the opening frame to take a 33-13 advantage into the second quarter.OSU’s advantages with size and athleticism were evident from the beginning, but the Buckeyes also bothered Southern on the defensive end in the first quarter. The Buckeyes forced eight turnovers and handed the Jaguars just two assists.“We mixed our defenses up,” McGuff said. “I thought our energy, effort and discipline defensively was really good.”The rest of the game played a bit closer. The Buckeyes outscored Southern 27-17 in the second quarter, 30-29 in the third and 18-14 in the fourth to finish off the 35-point victory.While McGuff was pleased with his defense early on, he said the Buckeyes still need to learn to sustain their solid defensive efforts.“We have to be able to sustain that more,” McGuff said. “That’s got to be more of a habit rather than trying to turn it on and turn it off.”Career nights for Mitchell, McCoyOSU freshman forward Tori McCoy put up a game- and career-high 25 points on a perfect 10-for-10 night from the field. McCoy was 5-of-8 from the free throw line and added six rebounds and three blocks.“It was a great experience,” McCoy said. “I do feel a little bit more comfortable.”OSU junior guard Kelsey Mitchell tallied 23 points on 6-of-11 shooting. With 3:54 remaining in the fourth quarter, she buried a pair of free throws to reach 2,000 points in her career. With just 79 games under her belt, Mitchell became the fastest player in NCAA history to reach that mark. The crowd of 3,973 was audibly anticipating the milestone each time Mitchell touched the ball in the fourth quarter, but the guard was unaware of her pending accomplishment.“I just heard on the sideline, they were like, ‘get two points.’ I’m like, ‘for what?’” Michell said with a laugh. “I had no clue.”Mitchell stayed humble when talking about the journey that has led her to the record books.“The accolade is the accolade, but I’m really grateful for the process,” Mitchell said postgame. “Been through a lot; experienced a lot with these guys.”Senior forward Shayla Cooper (19 points) and redshirt sophomore guard Sierra Calhoun (13) were also in double digits for the Buckeyes. As a team, OSU shot 61 percent from the field and converted on 31-of-40 free throw attempts.The Jaguars shot 36.5 percent from the field and were 11-for-26 (42.3 percent) from the three-point line. Southern was led by 19 points from sophomore guard Skylar O’Bear and 13 points from senior forward Miaya Crowder.Up nextOSU will play the fourth game of its current five-game home stand when they face the Canisius Golden Griffins on Sunday, Dec. 11. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Schottenstein Center.