The Luxury Tax, auto industry labour shortages, and keeping BC at the forefront of Canada’s ZEV revolution were the key points in the NCDA BC’s presentation to the BC Standing Committee of Finance’s pre-budget consultations.
“Our members want to be part of the solution in keeping the economy moving in the right direction,” said Blair Qualey, President & CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of BC. “Our recommendations will help encourage consumer spending and increase jobs by removing or adjusting tax barriers such as luxury tax and surtaxes, incentivizing consumers through EV purchases and charging rebates and investments, and ongoing investments in skills-training, which is central to future success for our sector, the broader economy, but also in the lives of a new generation of young people who are exploring career opportunities.”
According to the NCDA BC, The auto industry is responsible for $15.6 billion in retail activity each year and $260 million of direct tax revenue and $610 million of total tax revenue for all three levels of government—along with an estimated $1.2 billion in total tax revenue to all levels of government when factoring in the federal and provincial sales taxes paid by consumers on purchases of new cars. Qualey highlighted three issues that are of primary concern:
The BC Luxury Tax on vehicles kicks in at a $55,000 purchase price but hasn’t been adjusted for inflation for many years. The NCDA is recommending the Luxury Tax threshold be raised and eliminated over time.
The BC automobile sector faces a critical labour shortage, with industry projecting the need for 20,000 workers over the next decade. The NCDA currently works with the Industry Training Authority (soon to be SkilledTradesBC), WorkBC and other labour agencies, and suggests that continued funding to support apprentice and jobs training programs are critical to the industry and consumers.
The NCDA is also recommending an ongoing funding commitment to support the CleanBC Go Electric vehicle purchase rebate program along with key investments in critical charging infrastructure where people live, work and play.
“This government has proven to be a valuable partner,” said Qualey, “Our submission is focused on building on areas in which we have enjoyed collective success, but also ensuring we are identifying those areas that require attention because of their impact on consumers and the economy.”