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Campbell cuts taxes in BC to fight global economic slowdown

Premier Gordon Campbell said this evening he will recall the legislature to pass measures aimed at helping the province weather the global economic slowdown.

The announced measures included:

* Moving up five percent in income tax cuts and making them retroactive to January 1, 2008. This includes a two percent cut made in July, plus a three percent cut planned for January 1, 2009;

* Reducing the amount “industry” companies pay to support schools through their property taxes by 50 percent;

* Cutting the small business tax rate from 3.5 percent to 2.5 percent, starting on December 1;

* Subsidizing ferry fares for December and January to reduce them by 33 percent and restoring service levels;

* Creating a new, voluntary pension plan for private sector workers.

The measures will cost the government roughly $271 million this year, and $485 million over three years. The legislature will be recalled on November 20.

The Tyee reported in March that despite warnings from economists, the government was doing little to prepare for a slump.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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