Impact of Employer Health Tax is now

March 7, 2018

To: The Honourable Carole James, Minister of Finance and Deputy Premier

Dear Minister:
We are writing to express the deep concern of Board Voice’s member Boards with respect to the impact of the new Employer Health Tax on January 1, 2019.

While we understand that you have allowed for the next several months for consultation with the not-for-profit sector, the lack of clarity is an immediate planning and budgeting challenges. We urge you to provide such clarity in the very near term.

As you have heard from others in the not-for-profit sector the immediate and long-term impacts are of immense concern. Our sector receives, in very large part, its grant revenues from the Province. Not knowing if the Province will pay for this extra mandated cost, or provide an exemption is impeding the ability to enhance, the well-being of those we all serve.

Board Voice is a network of volunteer board directors of community-based social benefit organizations from across the province. It was founded on the belief that board leadership is critical to supporting high-quality social services and to making our communities better places to live.

The not-for-profit community and community based social benefit organizations are vital partners to achieving the government’s social priorities, and – along with volunteers, donors and grant providers – make significant contributions toward enhancing the lives of BC’s people.

While the implementation date of January 2019 was intended to provide time to consult, the impact is now. Many member agencies are on the same fiscal year as the government. Currently, they are in the very final stages of finalizing their revenue and expenditure budgets for the 12 months ending March 31, 2019. The impact of the extra EHT cost, without knowing if the various provincial ministries will cover the EHT cost in the 4th quarter, is of critical importance right now. The governance fiduciary responsibility means social service agencies are facing serious risk today.

Agencies with a fiscal year starting slightly later are also well into the planning phases for their next period. We urge you to take action in the immediate term – to cover the financial revenue risk on mandated extra EHT compensation costs for the periods after January 1, 2019.


Terry Anne Boyles and Leslie Welin, Board Voice co-chairs

Find the PDF version of the letter here: Letter to The Honourable Carole James