OUR VIEW: The return of a tax

We say: How fitting the HST disappears on April Fool’s Day

It was perhaps fitting that B.C. returned to the Provincial Sales Tax on April Fool’s Day.

The rollout of the Harmonized Sales Tax by then-Premier Gordon Campbell was a colossal bungle during his time in office. The HST was praised by economists as sensible tax policy, and approved by many in the business community as easier to administer. But too many people felt betrayed by the way the tax was introduced, particularly due to the fact it came on the heels of an election where no mention of the HST was made.

And after the damage had been done, and after people learned that, in general, most folks would pay more under the new regime, no attempts at explanation could turn the tide of opposition.

In the summer of 2011, residents had their say in a province-wide referendum, rejecting the HST in favour of a return to the PST. So here we are, again. Back in a world with two taxes, the GST with a few exemptions, and the PST with quite a few. There’s a great explainer on the provinces website to untangle it all—just visit http://gov.bc.ca/pst and click “What’s taxable, what’s not.”

Suffice to say, for many things the average British Columbian will save money with the return to the PST. On things like home repairs and renovations, child safety equipment, smoke detectors, bikes, movie tickets, golf memberships, haircuts, basic cable, gym memberships and buying a new house, the return of the PST is good news and will mean significant savings. The unfortunate impact, however, is the loss of the provincial rebate of up to $230 a year for low-income individuals, which now drops to $75. As usual, the most vulnerable feel the shift most keenly. Meantime, the rest of us will adjust, as we always do.

– Black Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Photos of masked-marijuana-clinic robber released by Abbotsford police

Gunman robbed dispensary for cash and weed, still at large

Woman in Fraser Health region confirmed as sixth COVID-19 case in B.C.

Woman remains in isolation as Fraser Health officials investigate

Abbotsford-Mission has Canada’s third-highest ‘moving penalty’

Disparity between vacant/occupied units incentivizes renovictions & reduces mobility, researcher says

Abbotsford weed dispensary held up by masked robber with weapon

City’s second pot-shop robbery to take place in one month

Mysterious bang booms over Sumas Mountain once again

Police unsure of source, quarry companies say, ‘not us’

Blair says RCMP have met Wet’suwet’en conditions, calls for end to blockades

The Wet’suwet’en’s hereditary chiefs oppose the Coastal GasLink project

Woman missing out of downtown Maple Ridge

Police seek public’s help locating Atefeh Jadidian

Petition seeks to remove local police department from Lindsay Buziak murder case

American woman starts online petition in hopes of helping Buziak family

Health officials confirm sixth COVID-19 case in B.C.

Woman remains in isolation as Fraser Health officials investigate

Study says flu vaccine protected most people during unusual influenza season

Test-negative method was pioneered by the BC Centre for Disease Control in 2004

Saskatchewan and B.C. reach championship round at Scotties

British Columbia’s Corryn Brown locked up the last berth in Pool B

‘Chain reaction pile up’ closes southbound traffic on Coquihalla Highway

Black Press Media has reached out to RCMP, paramedics for details

Exploding enrolment prompts opening of second TWU campus in Richmond

Langley’s faith-based Trinity Western University opens a second campus in Richmond

Fraser Valley seniors’ home residents go without meds for a night due to staff shortage

Residents speak out about staff shortages that are leading to serious safety concerns

Most Read