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BC increases apprentice training tax credit

VANCOUVER -- As of the first of this month, the British Columbia Training Tax Credit has been doubled.

The incentive is an attempt to spur employers into hiring and training new apprentices -- mainly mechanics in the trucking industry -- as well as reduce the small business income tax to the lowest in Canada, Premier Gordon Campbell says.

He expects to have 47,000 apprentices registered this year, triple the number of registered apprentices in 2001.

In B.C. credits are available for the following trades: Diesel fuel system and heavy-duty equipment mechanics; vehicle body repairer; transport reefer and trailer mechanics.

"Increasing the tax credit will create new incentives for job creation that will help trades workers and employers alike in these challenging economic times," Campbell said.

The training tax credit program started in 2007 to encourage employers to take on apprentices. It provides refundable income tax credits equal to 10 percent of salary and wages paid up to $2,000, for each apprentice enrolled in any of the more than 100 apprentice programs that cover 140 careers.

Effective July 1, employers are eligible to claim up to $4,000 annually per employee.

Campbell also announced that the Small Business Income Tax will be reduced to the lowest in Canada by April 1, 2012, to be paid for by Carbon Tax revenues. The Province will also raise the small business income threshold from the current $400,000 to $500,000 on January 1, 2010 -- the highest threshold in Canada, according to the government.

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