Letter: Capital comment

NDP has stated that effective October 1st, 2013 we would reinstate the corporation capital tax on financial institutions.

To the Editor:

On May 7, President and CEO of Kootenay Savings Credit Union, Brent Tremblay, wrote a letter to local media outlying his concerns with the proposed capital tax on financial institutions that the NDP has discussed implementing if we win Government on May 14th.

Firstly I want to thank Brent for expressing his concerns and having met and discussed this issue with him I understand that as CEO he is responsible for the well being of KSCU and its members.

I think it is important to clarify exactly what the NDP platform says regarding this issue. As a part of our fully costed party platform the NDP has stated that effective October 1st, 2013 we would reinstate the corporation capital tax on financial institutions.

After discussion with Brent and members of the BC Central Credit Union Board, the NDP and leader Adrian Dix relooked at our initial proposal of a 3% tax on all financial institutions.

Banks would continue to pay 3 per cent, while financial institutions with headquarters in BC including credit unions will pay 1 per cent.

If the credit union has capital holdings of less than $20 million they will be exempt from this tax. This measure will add $75 million in revenue in 2013-2014 and $150 million in 2014-15 and 2015-16.

Why are we proposing to reinstate this tax? Since 2011 we have stated that we want to bring back non-repayable grant programs for post secondary students in BC that was eliminated by the Liberals in 2004-05.

This minimum tax on financial institutions will allow us to provide substantial funding for students to address the large skills shortage our province is experiencing.

This tax would not touch any deposits and would affect less than half of BC Credit Unions. Carol Taylor, former Liberal Finance Minister, removed the previous bank tax in 2009 and was later appointed to the Toronto Dominion Bank, Board of Directors.

The tax had existed since 1973 in BC. While we appreciate the feedback from KSCU we also realize that we have to be responsible in finding funding for important programs.

Katrine Conroy, Pass Creek

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