The HST: How Far Will BC Go?

Post by Nathan Slee in

47 comments

swords
Will British Columbians fall on their swords just to teach Gordon Campbell a lesson?

Given the involvement of the City of Vancouver in the harmonized sales tax protest, we thought that this commentary by businessperson Nathan Slee was apropos to CityCaucus.com...

As former Premier Bill Vander Zalm and his coalition of HST fighters move closer to their goal of forcing a referendum, British Columbians will soon have to decide if punishing Gordon Campbell is reason enough to derail an otherwise good tax policy.

Here is what we know: Gordon Campbell did not campaign on the HST. The policy was announced ridiculously close to the election. There was not nearly the kind of consultation that British Columbians deserve. Understandably, many British Columbians are upset.

We also have a reasonably good idea of how the HST will impact the BC economy and consumer prices. In the Maritimes (where sales tax was harmonized in 1997) and in Europe (where a value added sales tax was first introduced in France in 1954), the introduction of a value added sales tax resulted in increased business investment (read: jobs) and a slightly lower average cost of goods and services.

Opponents of the HST are calling it a $2 billion dollar tax shift from businesses to consumers. This is inaccurate and misleading. Supporters of the HST who claim that business savings will be entirely shared with the consumer, making the tax shift essentially a wash, are also being unrealistic. The truth is somewhere in the middle. No, not every business will pass on savings to their consumers, but enough will that we will notice. And it will not take much of a drop in the average cost of goods in order to balance out the increase in sales tax that will be placed on some goods and services.

Most of what we consume is already subject to both GST and PST so the harmonization of these two taxes will have no impact on the level of sales tax that we pay for those items. Under the HST, the majority of what we consume will be at least slightly cheaper to produce/deliver due to the input tax credits that businesses will receive. Only a minority of goods and services, where PST is not currently charged, will be subject a 7% tax hike. Because almost all of our goods and services will be cheaper to produce, but only a minority of them will be taxed at a higher rate, a small decrease in average prices will be enough to compensate for the few goods and services that will be taxed more heavily.

It is true that the harmonization of our two sales taxes will not impact everyone equally. Few tax changes ever do. Yet the HST is undoubtedly a more efficient and competitive way to tax our spending than our current GST/PST structure.

So where does that leave us?

British Columbians have come out in droves to support the anti-HST movement. Some are upset that the provincial portion of the HST will be charged on items that we did not previously have to pay PST on (ie. restaurants and massage therapists). Others are upset about the way the policy was announced and think it is another example of an arrogant and out-of-touch Premier who cares only for his big business buddies.

Few are offering compelling arguments about why the policy itself would be bad for BC as a whole. Bad for some industries, bad for some individuals, but when you speak to the people who are signing the anti-HST petition, beyond those few specific industry or product/service complaints, there is not much of a voice against the broader policy implications.

Not many people would argue with the fact that the roll-out of this policy was a disaster. One only has to compare the experience in Ontario with that in BC to see how the public may have reacted if the concept was introduced to them in a different way. British Columbians now have to decide if this, coupled with serious Gordon Campbell fatigue, is reason enough to scuttle the HST - a tax that, if you believe the experience in the Maritimes and Europe to be fair predictors, will improve BC's economy, lower overall prices, create jobs and make BC more competitive in the global economy.

Gone are the days when the G7 were the only game in town and seven developed nations, including Canada, competed for economic supremacy. In the fairly recent past, we competed with only Europe and the United States to entice companies and talent to invest their money and their time here. Today, we don't have it that easy. Businesses can now choose from dozens of nations with competitive tax structures, labour costs an regulatory environments. British Columbians have to decide if we have the luxury of foregoing good policy just because it makes for bad politics and, if so, at what cost?

- post by Nathan Slee. Nathan Slee is president of Credilogic, a web-based financial services company with headquarters in Surrey, BC.

47 Comments

The link between a reduction of cost in production of goods and delivery of services and the reduction of price or the creation of jobs is highly fuzzy.

As a business owner I am legally obliged to be a tax collector. I am not legally obliged to figure out my net cost savings due to the absence of PST, nor am I legally obliged to pass this onto my customers.

What do you think will happen?

Another pro-liberal article by a wannabe economist?

Reality check... 78 percent of business in BC is service orientated. That means there is very little in the way of write-offs. A few computers here and there, and some office supplies. This PALES in comparison to what we now need to charge clients with the extra 7 percent. So not only can we not pass any savings on, but customers will have less spending money, and now people can go to Washington and not pay ANY tax? As both a business owner and a customer, I don't think I will be buying much in BC. I'll certainly be putting my Nexus card to work.

The biggest gainers with the HST will be the mining and forestry industries who will neither lower prices, since the majority of customers aren't in BC, or increase jobs. And the rosiest job predictions are 113,000 jobs by 2020? First of all that's pathetic, and second there will be much more lost from the service industry.

Then, Atlantic Canada decreased their tax rate by going with the HST originally, which will now be increased this year, and you KNOW that the majority of workers in Atlantic Canada are seasonal workers, which means they get a large portion of their money from the federal government. Last I checked neither Atlantic Canada or Europe has a strong economy... and last I heard BC had a very strong economy... so why are we changing???? And why are you supporting it?

Another paid lieberal supporter, perhaps?

How can you say it is not a tax shift when even Carole Taylor herself has said it is? That was why she was opposed to it while she was finance minister. To state that the hst is not a tax shift is clearly a lie; something that the lieberals are very good at.

The provincial sales tax was established to pay for the health system.


Johnson's government introduced universal hospital insurance—and to pay for it—a 3% provincial sales tax.


British Columbia Liberal Party - Wikipedia - 1941-1951 "The Coalition"

If Gordie and crew guarantee that the funds raised will go into the BC health system, then fine. Not likely though.

To say it's going to save businesses money is crap. Not only are they going to have to learn the new rules they are going to have to adjust their accounting systems. And who is going to pay for this? The consumer.

A business already has to keep track of what GST and PST they pay plus what they collect, remitting the difference. It will be more work because there will be more invoices to sort out.

They have not been honest at all about what it is going to cost consumers.

The people have spoken. Your days are numbered Gordon Campbell.

Joe is absolutely right. The big ticket items are in resources and these savings can't be passed on to consumers.

As well, it was very instructive when the Government did not pass on the savings on wine and beer but adjusted their taxes instead. Why do they think other businesses will pass on any savings and not just keep their prices the same.

The Liberals have made a mess of this whole issue and if they do not make a change in leadership fast we will have an even bigger disaster - and NDP government after the next election.

What I would like to know is what's in this for Bill Vander Zalm?

I'm neither for or against HST, I signed the petition because I didn't like the liberals arrogance and the way this was announced.
Unfortunately most people who are complaining are only looking at the short term i.e this year. Businesses will benefit in the long run as will consumers. With news that BC residents will be able to shop tax free in Washington, local businesses are going to have to come up with some good plans to keep luxury shoppers here. When sales drop, a lot of business will start to realize that they have to pass on their reduced costs to the consumer.



As one of the canvassers for the fight hst campaign, I have come across hundreds of people who have said they will be shopping across the border now. It will happen even more now that WA has said they will make tangable items TAX FREE for BC residents.

A few small businesses said they are moving to Alberta.

So how is this going to help BC? Now they are forcing us to shop across the border and shop around for cash only items and services.

All they are succeeding in doing is making people spend their money elsewhere now.

Perhaps all the armchair economists here weighing in here can explain how BC can compete with other jurisdictions with embedded tax in all products.

The funny thing about capitalism is that when competition exists, the money flows to that which has less costs.

So Robert might decide to rip off his customers because the law doesn't force him to reduce his prices, but I bet Robert's competitors will see an opportunity to knock him off (good luck to them!).

There are plenty of industries in BC that will benefit from their lower cost of doing business, and their cost-savings will drive up employment in many hard hit regions of the province.

The anti-HST crowd is using fuzzy math to make a political point, and they're not considering the growth that will come from it.

Jennifer, why exactly would a small business who is going to have their taxes LOWERED move to Alberta? Your arguments strain credulity.

As for folks driving to the USA to save a few bucks, what exactly will be different under the HST that already doesn't cost you 12% under the PST/GST? Are you telling people that they will pay more for products when in fact the taxes will not change?

Your arguments are full of hyperbole and make no sense. It's a shame that we allow people with no understanding of what the HST is running around the province misinforming people.

"The anti-HST crowd is using fuzzy math to make a political point, and they're not considering the growth that will come from it."

I am a business owner, and I can not reduce my pricing. So my clients are going to have to pay this extra amount no matter what.

Since I bill in quarterly/semi annual and annually, I am already seeing some of my customers dropping off.

If I lower my prices to accommodate the new tax, I will LOSE money. The math has already been done on it. I already tried lowering my prices a year ago and did not gain new customers. So why would I gain more with this?

The ONLY businesses that will benefit from this tax are companies like Walmart. Yep, they will be able to hire more slave labor at minimum wage.

I would be happier if this was a revenue neutral effort. Right now, I see it as a tax grab. Yes, business will administer this more easily and things will be better for exporters. To get my support, how about adjusting things so that the Feds get their 5% as per normal and the Provincial bit is adjusted to recover the same amount of money that the PST orignally collected?

Really Jennifer?

How interesting as this news release regarding cross border shopping just came out. But if you've spoken to 100's of people well then.....

You seem as ill informed as the other anti- HST canvassers I've had random conversations with.

I truly like the ones telling me 'grocery costs' are going to go up.

Bill Van der Zalm is a land developer - it will effect his bottom line. He could care less about the 'people' of this province, just as he didn't care about them when he was Premier.

I hope that helps you.

And I am unsure as how to digest the balance of your post as you seem to think there is benefit with the HST however, you signed the petition because you don't like the Liberals, which makes .....no sense.

"Jennifer, why exactly would a small business who is going to have their taxes LOWERED move to Alberta? Your arguments strain credulity."

I was PST exempt until May 1. Since I am a service provider, I do not purchase many goods for my business. So I fail to see how this is LOWERING my taxes? It is a wash for my business but not for my customers.


"As for folks driving to the USA to save a few bucks, what exactly will be different under the HST that already doesn't cost you 12% under the PST/GST? Are you telling people that they will pay more for products when in fact the taxes will not change?"

To save a "few" bucks. Are you serious? People are simply tired of being taxed to death.

Let me give you some simple math here so you will understand.

On a pair of shoes costing $39 at Payless Canada, add HST which brings them to $43.68.

Now at Payless USA you get those same shoes for $14.99 and NO TAX.

So tell me, what encourages me to buy my shoes here?

"Your arguments are full of hyperbole and make no sense. It's a shame that we allow people with no understanding of what the HST is running around the province misinforming people."

It is a shame that someone has not actually sat down, went through their receipts and did the math.

Overall, the HST is going to cost people more money.

I have no problem with combining the tax, I have a problem with them adding this tax to PST exempt services.

I have a problem with them not raising minimum wage to accommodate the new tax. The credits they will allow will not cover the extra cost to them.

I have a problem with a government who cares so little about the very people who voted them in.

I challenge you, go through a year of receipts. See what you purchase personally that you did not have to pay PST and then you tell me it will not affect you! I have done it, and trust me, I personally am not happy.

So who is really misinformed here?


"On a pair of shoes costing $39 at Payless Canada, add HST which brings them to $43.68.

Now at Payless USA you get those same shoes for $14.99 and NO TAX."

Jennifer, today those shoes are $39 plus GST and PST for a total of $43.68. When HST comes in they will still be $43.68. So how does the HST have anything to do with your arguement?

If people want to shop in WA, then their motivation to do so will not change after our two sales taxes are combined and given a new name. The difference in tax between BC and WA will be the same.


"How interesting as this news release regarding cross border shopping just came out. But if you've spoken to 100's of people well then....."

This had nothing to do with the news release.

I took in over 1500 signatures myself. Many people are tired of paying HIGHER prices and paying taxes PERIOD!

I do all my grocery shopping in the states minus veggies.

I do all my cloth shopping in the states

I do all my mini vacations in the states.

Why?

BECAUSE IT IS CHEAPER!

Now with the new tax exemption in WA why would I even consider doing my purchasing in BC?

Obviously you have not done much shopping over the border, because if you did, you would not want to shop here anymore.

And THAT is what I am talking about.

Many of the seniors who signed said they use to shop in the states all the time, but stopped. But now are saying they will start again so to avoid paying taxes here.

Washington has just given us another reason to shop there!


I understand what you are trying to say Jennifer.

My husband and I also went through our receipts from the last 6 months.

We took only the ones where we only paid GST.

Once we added in the PST portion, it would have ended up costing us about $500 more.

I go to a massage therapist every week due to an accident. I also use natural herbal medicine and take lots of vitamins.

I will now have to pay HST on these.

We do understand why people can not see the cost differences with the implementation of the HST. Our income is higher then average and any credit they give us will not cover this extra cost.

Like you, we are now going to Washington to purchase my vitamins and meds just to save money.

Jennifer, "not raising the minimum wage" to offset HST?? Ah, now we see how it is. This typical union approach to raising wages to offset costs, when it's the costs caused by continuous raising of wages...you get the picture. We cannot afford the death spiral of increases you propose.

I love how you demand that we lower taxes, yet you insist that we increase wages. Where does this logic get us? It kills productivity and reduces health care and schools to nothing.

By the way, all low income earners will receive an increase in their HST credit cheque – that's hundreds of dollars per year that will ably cover any increase caused by the HST on a low income earner.

Since you love supporting USA businesses so much, you should probably heed the words of Stompin' Tom Connors.

We hate to see you leaving, bound for the USA
But if you don't believe your country should come before yourself
Ya can better serve your country, by living somewhere else

HST, HST, HST... yadda, yadda, yadda

Just wait'll BCers find out how much the Olympics are going to cost them.

60% of all new jobs are created by small, service-oriented businesses - hair salons, restaurants, software startups, yoga classes, etc. Yet the way the HST is being implemented will hit all of their customers with an overnight increase in prices of 7%, a huge jump at a time of no inflation. That will badly hurt the very businesses we depend on to generate jobs just as we're climbing out of the last recession.

Yet we know it will save large corporations huge sums in accounting and other related costs even though they are the least able to produce the new jobs we need to stay competitive.

If the government had balanced this burden by phasing the tax in over several years on small businesses and spread the pain by having large corporations pay into a fund that compensated small businesses for the huge increase in their retail prices and accounting costs, they might have built more support for the transition.

Instead, a perception has taken hold that this is a huge boon for large corporations while consumers and small businesses pay the price.

Mr. Slee assumes that the HST as proposed is widely accepted as good policy. That is simply not the case as evidenced by the anti-HST petition. It is harder to say why people signed the petition. There are probably dozens of reasons and many different priorities.

The HST will apply to about 20% of total consumer expenditures that were not previously subject to PST. That is not insignificant.

Businesses will receive input tax credits that essentially eliminate sales tax cost amounting to $2billion per year. The amount of ITC's that a business will receive will depend on the type of business. Obviously a mining company expanding a mine will receive more ITCs than a consulting company because ITC's apply to capital spending.

These capital intensive businesses in BC tend to be resource companies. These businesses do not control commodity prices nor do they sell most of their production in BC. Therefore there is little opportunity nor incentive to pass along savings to consumers. Therefore of the $2billion in ITC savings only a small fraction could ever result in lowered prices.

Thus it is entirely fair to characterize the HST as a transfer of wealth from individuals to corporations.

We can agree that the HST is structurally superior to the PST in many ways. Yet it is not inconsistent to also disagree with the way the HST is being implemented. For example should the rate be lowered. Unfortunately the government has left few options open to us to improve what they propose. The only viable option is to oppose the entire HST policy and agreement with the feds and start again.


To Leslie, thanx.

To Matt:

How can you say the tax is the same whether we buy here or across the border?

There will be NO tax on those items in the states as of July 1.

My point is that we already pay a higher amount for items here that we can get so much cheaper in the USA.

So again, what is going to make people shop here?

And again, my pricing on my business is not going down. I will LOSE money if I do that.

My hairdresser, the owner, when asked if she would be lowering her fees for haircuts, she replied "no, they will be remaining as they are now."

So that is an additions 7% I will be paying every other month.

I currently pay $25+GSTt = $26.25

As of July 1 I will pay $25+HST= $28

That is $1.75 more every other month.

That is an increase of $10.50 a year.

Now how many people are in your home who pay the same.

I have a family of 4. That is an extra $42 a year in haircut costs.

That is just ONE item and is only a haircut. My vitamins cost me approximately $50 every two months. Now I will be paying an additional $36+ a year.

I could keep going but I think you see my point.

Mary,

Are you kidding me?

"I love how you demand that we lower taxes, yet you insist that we increase wages."

I never said lower taxes, and have no idea how you got that from any of my posts. I said if you are going to raise taxes then raise wages also to accommodate the extra tax.

I pay %28 income tax.

I pay 12% sales tax

I pay carbon tax

and so on.

By the time I get my share of the hard work I have done to earn my pay, the government has taken 50% of it.

In regards to shopping in the USA.

You really have no clue do you?

A majority of our car parts are made in China and the USA. So when you buy a car you are driving at least 25% foreign. And when you purchase a car a % of that goes to the other countries.

So when you buy a car, do you ask where all the parts are made? I highly doubt it.

What about all the things in your closet that say MADE IN MALAYSIA or CHINA or USA?

Have you looked under your items to see where they are made. The same items you bought in Canada.

"We hate to see you leaving, bound for the USA
But if you don't believe your country should come before yourself
Ya can better serve your country, by living somewhere else"

That statement makes you a hypocrite!

Jennifer:

So let me get this straight, you support the US economy by buying all your goods there and by vacationing there, yet you complain about the wages in this country.

How typical.

On occasion I am required to travel over the border for business, but I do not travel specifically to purchase my day to day items.

Unlike yourself, I support the BC economy and its workers. ALL of its workers.

And from what your stating about your shopping habits - the HST will have little to no impact on you regardless of whether it goes through or not as you do not spend your dollars in your own back yard.

I have taken a long look around my apartment and my spending habits to see how it will effect my everyday living costs and I see very little change as most items already charge the GST and PST.

If you think the NDP will repeal this tax - think again.

Jennifer

Are you suggesting that people go shopping in Washington then smuggle their purchases over the border? You're still gonna pay tax, and maybe duty, on anything you declare.

The benefit is that you are only paying Canadian tax and no US tax. Unless you're buying luxury goods when you factor in time, gas, etc is it really worth it?

I'm presuming that you're aware that you will be scrutinized far more crossing the border now that this has been announced.

Sean raises a key point. The government has done an abismal job of marketing & explaining this new tax. It's a bit late now to be starting. As well, softening the blow & phasing it in is what should be happening. Over to you Gordo.

I agree.

Part in parcel not 'registering' as the 'opposition' to the Anti-HST movement with Elections BC.

However, I would think that since they were the initiators of the HST, that would have made them the 'opposition' from the get go.

Max:

"So let me get this straight, you support the US economy by buying all your goods there and by vacationing there, yet you complain about the wages in this country."

At $16.74 per hour for Metro Vancouver or $30,467 annually for each parent working full-time, the living wage covers only bare bones expenses.

The living wage for Vancouver is $16.39 per hour, due to minor variations in the expenses based on actual costs of living in Vancouver.

This living wage calculation does not cover credit cards, loans, or other debt/interest payments or savings for retirement or for children’s future education,owning a home or anything beyond minimal recreation.

I could go on, but I hope you get the point am pessimistic that you will.

But yet they will be paying more for certain services and tangable items that will no longer be GST only.

So in short, yes the wages should go up and to offset new taxes, I would say definitely consider buying where you can that will save you money!

We are not here to serve the Government, it is the opposite, they are ELECTED in to serve us!

ah the altruist tax whiner.
Jennifer: "(Government please spend more on health care, education, subsidize my kids daycare, don't raise my property taxes, build better infrastructure, reduce my car insurance, make my bed, and everything else my little heart desires, just don't tax poor little me.)"

The only people we should be worried about doing all their spending in the US are the real income earners who will pack up and move there if they are income taxed to death.
At least consumption taxes are fair.
It's comical when the middle class family complains about paying an extra $1000 in HST when the high income earners are going to kick in an extra $50,000.

If we really want to solve the deficits and shortfall we need to go after the public service (union and non union) entitlement programs. This is what will bankrupt us. People who are working for 25 years at inflated salaries as glorified desk clerks, retiring at 55 and then collecting an indexed pension for 40 years.

The things Jennifer wants for her precious little 'can't lose by more than 5 goals soccer kids' cost money. Don't whine when you are asked to pay your fair share.

These industries that are complaining are the same ones that take so much cash under the table and don't pay income tax on it in the first place.

"60% of all new jobs are created by small, service-oriented businesses" - hair salons (don't declare tips), restaurants (barely declare tips), software startups (subsidized by government programs), yoga classes (half these fitness trainers and gurus get paid cash and don't declare it), etc.

Of course, we could always be like the Greeks and just act like we don't have to pay taxes. How's that working out for them?

I used to support BC business, but the HST has pushed me over the edge. I will not be supporting any business that supported the HST or remained silent. I'm sorry, but if I must pay HST on necessities then less of my money will be spent here. I already knew I was spending much more than I would in Washington and Oregon, but I wanted BC to succeed. Now I just feel like sitting back and watching the province crumble away after I've moved my business to Alberta.

Rob:

"Are you suggesting that people go shopping in Washington then smuggle their purchases over the border? You're still gonna pay tax, and maybe duty, on anything you declare."

As an avid US shopper, I can tell you Groceries are not taxed either in the states or at the border.

Secondly, You have a general exemption of up to $25 per person per day. This does not include Groceries.

I have been shopping in the states on a weekly basis for about 10 years now. Only once was I asked to bring my items in and had to pay duty.

So what your saying it actually a moot point.

It is entirely up to the crossing guard if they want to bring you in or let you go through.

I just bought $50 in shoes last week on a 4 hour trip, I declared them, I got "Go ahead".

And what incentive does the borders have to start pulling everyone over?

I highly doubt that what your suggesting that people will get pulled over more will happen. And even if they do, you can buy a pair of shoes there worth $15 as to $40 here, your still ahead of the game.

And for the record, duty is only paid on purchases that are made in the US that were made OUTSIDE the US or CANADA. (remember free trade?)

I will let you know as I am off to the states now!

Jennifer:

Spoken like a true NDP/unionist.

What folks like you do not take into consideration is that $16.39 'living wage' costs an employer roughly double that when you factors in employment insurance, CPP etc.

It is roughly dollar for dollar.

So tell me - how many businesses would survive if they had to pay their employees a static 'living wage' of $16.39?

Best bet is - they would let some employees go in order to adjust their costs. Others might close up shop and head somewhere more 'business' friendly. New business coming here wouldn't happen.

Somewhat like when the NDP where in power in the '90s and companies like....Finning left to Alberta - and took all of those jobs with them.

Mary,
I am not sure where you got your information, but it is my understanding that the HST rebate for low income is actually much less than the GST rebate.


'I have been shopping in the states on a weekly basis for about 10 years now. Only once was I asked to bring my items in and had to pay duty.'
...........

Instead of staying in BC and sucking up resources that you don't pay for or contribute to - doe the rest of us a favor and move to the US.

We have enough people on welfare taking from the pockets of the tax paying citizens as it is.

I am embarrassed for you.

George, that's an anti-HST myth. Low income earners get more cash back from the government. Read this and follow link...

The impact of the HST on most families will be modest—and in some cases families may be better off. As mentioned in a recent report, “Individuals at very low incomes will be net gainers from harmonization.” The new B.C. HST credit and improved personal income tax credit amounts will offset some of the increased cost of the HST, as shown in the table below.

http://hst.blog.gov.bc.ca/families-individuals/lower-prices-at-the-store/#impact

Bruce,

Great points about the inflexible aspect of this debate. Had it been introduced better I think we would be seeing more constructive discussion as opposed to the "with us or against us" kind of debate that is going on now.

My hope is that the HST brings in significant revenue to put the government in a position to make sizable income tax cuts once the budget returns to balance. I would much prefer lower income tax and a higher consumption tax. Give me more of my money to start with and I will decide how and where to spend it.

I suspect that if the economy and therefore the budget were not in such bad shape that the introduction of the HST would have been accompanied by income tax cuts of a similar size ($2 billion or so). If that was the case, I am guessing that the public reaction would have been different.

OK... you lost me when you complained that government doesn't consider that you have credit card payments and loan payments...come on lets get serious your argument makes no sense. I too am concerned about the HST, but my credit card debt I did to myself.

Jennifer

Based on your responses why are you so angry about HST? It sounds like you do most if not all of your shopping in the US anyway.

1. The HST is a better consumption tax than the PST just like the GST is better than the FST that it replaced because it taxes end consumption and not production. It is legitimate to argue what sales should be exempt and what rate should be applied but if it is a consumption tax it should cover services as well as goods.

2. The shift to HST is a shift in the tax burden from business to consumers. Many significant businesses will benefit from the change but do not sell to consumers. Therefore, since the change is revenue neutral, consumers will, as a whole, pay more under HST.

3. The HST will not be repealed, petitions notwithstanding. It will spark recall initiatives that might be successful. However, even with a change of government, the HST will be here to stay. (remember how the Federal Liberals campaigned on eliminating the GST?)

4. The Liberals will lose the next election if they do not take drastic action quickly. A new leader untainted by the HST who pledged to reduce the HST rate would reduce the risk of the rise of a vote splitting Conservative party.

Mary
you stated
"By the way, all low income earners will receive an increase in their credit cheque"
Low income earners or fixed income earners are actually going to be receiving less than in their quarterly GST rebate cheques. I was given my new HST credit rebate balance by my accountant, when I filed my taxes, Trust me I'm receiving a big cut and my income didn't change.
IMO you are getting up the hopes of the poor that factor in the rebate cheque as money to live on during those months, that might be a big surprise come July 3.
You assume I am falling for a HST myth ...when in fact it was only the accuracy of your post I questioned. If I'm wrong will you please contact my accountant. Thanks

George:

Starting July 1st, individuals with incomes up to $20,000 will receive a $230 HST credit.

Families with incomes up to $25,000 will receive a $230 HST credit per family member.

People also eligible for the federal GST credits may see a total of up to $716.

****
Is BC doing anything else?

To further reduce the impact on low and modest income individuals and families, BC will provide a new BC HST Credit along with the quarterly GST credit payments.

I am not convinced,
The $230 you mention is a yearly total, divided up into installments to replace the quarterly GST . This is a definite decrease...hope I'm wrong, because to many low income folks, your numbers sound much better....Quarterly GST cheques as well? Wow!! If the government is being that generous why are people complaining? MY understanding was the HST rebate now replaces the GST, not both. Says so on my tax assessment I received back from the government.
If my info is incorrect do you do taxes???

Dear Gordon Campbell: I have just been levied an assessment of $7,000 towards a new roof and other necessary maintenance work. Now I will need to shell out another $500 on July 1st for the HST alone. A new roof is not "consumption", it is a necessity. This is just one cost I will be faced with on July 1st, not to mention an additional 7% on all the costs built into strata fees. Like many other British Columbians, I am being forced to stop spending money on anything but the real necessities of life. Thanks for stimulating the economy!

PO'd: It's not everyone elses fault that you are overlevereged at the top of a real estate cycle.
Suck it up and pay your share. You thought you were wealthy enough to own a home, now you crybaby about $500.

All the stuff you whiners want costs money.

Why do you think someone else should pay?

Mr. Slee - i thought your piece was well reasoned and well written...but it is easy for residents of BC to be skeptical. State involvement in the BC economy and the resulting monopoly keeps prices high and one can be skeptical that savings under HST will really be passed through. For example, compare dairy prices in BC with those in Wa state...the monopoly structure in BC keeps the prices roughly double those in wa state.
Another example...the myth that BC Ferries is private. Thanks. RS

Why should I take $1,200 (this is what the HST will cost my family in after-income-tax money) off my children's table to give it to businesses? here is what I am going to do: all vacationing will be in Washington and Oregon. Perhaps not cheaper, but definitely a better experience. When I return, I will bring $1,600 worth of goods and a full fuel tank. Multiply this by 7 or 8 per year. Besides, while in BC I will do my best to avoid buying any product at an indecent price (booze, dairy, postal services, photographic equipment and cameras are just some examples). There will be ZERO vacationing or entertainment in BC until HST and the carbon tax fraud are both repealed. Until then, there will be $20-$23,000 after tax spending in BC. I will also avoid dealing with businesses supporting the BC liberals and/or the HST either directly or through associations they are members of. Great job, Mr. Hansen!

Attn: Business Owners. Why have your prices increased? You are getting a tax refund on your opertating costs. WHY are you charging MORE? Will you be lowering your prices? If not .. no sale No Sale NO SALE !!!

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