Health tax will hurt non-profit agencies

Re: “Feeling pain of health tax,” editorial, May 3.

The new employer health tax is also a concern for the non-profit agencies that provide social services, from mental-health support to help for children and families in communities across B.C.

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Board Voice is a network of volunteer directors of community-based social-benefit organizations across the province.

Our members are concerned about the impact of the new tax.

For a great number of non-profits, the new tax will add hundreds of thousands of dollars to their expenses. Their revenue budgets are set, and many will have to consider service cuts to cover the additional cost.

There are long-term solutions. The government could exempt non-profit community-service agencies from the tax.

Or, as it provides funding for most programs, it could increase its grant contributions or its service-fee amounts to cover the cost.

But the tax is scheduled to take effect in less than eight months. It’s urgent, in the short term, that the government commit to additional funding to cover the extra costs that non-profit social-service agencies will face beginning Jan. 1, 2019.

Terry Anne Boyles and Leslie Welin

Co-chairs, Board Voice

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