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Strategic Context

The Service Plan has been developed within the context of government priorities and economic and other considerations that influence the Ministry’s strategies, and ability to meet its goals and objectives. The following are key considerations for the Ministry in developing and implementing strategies to meet performance targets.

British Columbians expect their government to provide timely, high quality service. Recognizing this, the Ministry continues to strengthen our relationship with British Columbians based on the principles detailed in the Taxpayer Fairness and Service Code (4th Edition), and reports publicly on its customer service performance. The Ministry has also established consultative processes, such as the Small Business Roundtable, to hear directly from customers on issues related to its programs and services.

Provincial tax legislation and policy, and the regulatory environment, influence the competitiveness of the province’s investment climate and is a determining factor in where a business decides to locate. Recognizing tax and regulatory reform will become increasingly important factors in encouraging investment in the province, the Ministry co-ordinates initiatives to ensure the tax regime remains customer-centred. Additionally, the Ministry continues to streamline and simplify the regulatory environment to assist British Columbians in maintaining the competitiveness of the province as a place to live, invest and do business.

British Columbians’ understanding of their financial obligations to government is critical to increasing voluntary compliance. The Ministry of Small Business and Revenue administers approximately $21.7 billion in primarily tax revenue, or 61 per cent of all revenue2 received by the Province. These revenues support the provision of important government programs and services — such as health care, education, social services and transportation — for British Columbians.

The willingness of taxpayers to voluntarily meet their financial obligations is the foundation of the tax system in British Columbia. The Ministry provides information, education and outreach activities, and continues to expand access to information and electronic payment options to make it as easy as possible for individuals and businesses to voluntarily comply.

Meaningful partnerships are critical to the Ministry’s success. The Ministry works in partnership with the small business community, industry and other levels of government to develop and implement strategies and tools to deliver ministry programs and services.

The provincial economic environment directly affects the Ministry’s success in revenue management and debt collection. Strong economic growth presents opportunities for revenue generation, both through new revenues and increased voluntary compliance with existing financial obligations to government. The Ministry continues to focus on supporting voluntary compliance with financial obligations through information, education and outreach activities.

According to British Columbia’s independent Economic Forecast Council, the provincial economy grew 3.1 per cent in 2007, lower than the 3.4 per cent expected at the start of the year. British Columbia’s economic growth is expected to moderate somewhat, with 2.8 per cent growth in 2008, followed by growth of 3.0 per cent in 2009 and average growth of 2.9 per cent for the 2010 through 2012 period.

In response to demographic shifts, the Ministry is making information more accessible to ethnic and cultural groups. For an increasing number of British Columbians English is not their first language. As of 2001, almost 25 per cent of British Columbians had a first language other than English or French.3 The Ministry is identifying its key publications and working with ethno-cultural associations to provide increased access to important Ministry information. This supports the Ministry’s commitment to continuously improve customer service.

The Ministry’s priorities, as reflected in its Service Plan goals, objectives and strategies, address the strategic considerations described above. More specifically, customer expectations and demographic shifts in the province’s population are key considerations in delivering excellent customer service that meets the needs of customers and partners. The Ministry’s approaches to supporting a competitive business environment, small business success and job creation will help us to reach our goals to be the most small business-friendly jurisdiction in Canada and a global leader in regulatory reform. Strategies to enhance taxpayer compliance with financial obligations to government, including information, education and outreach activities, will result in amounts owed to government being paid.

2  Based on provincial revenue estimate in the Estimates (Fiscal year ending March 31, 2008), page 6, Estimated Revenue by Source, Updated Forecast 2006/07 (line item Taxpayer supported programs and agencies).
3  Ministry of Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Multiculturalism, Profile of Diversity in BC Communities 2001 profiles/BC_DiversityCommunityProfiles.pdf.
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