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

Just Posted

Mission being challenged by growing opioid crisis

Community Opioid Dialogue will be held in Mission on Thursday, Jan. 31

Man, 24, charged with nine sexual offences in Abbotsford and Mission

Alleged victim, who he met online, is under the age of 16

Mission filmmaker tackles topic of youth and the social media epidemic

Kim Laureen teams up with her daughter to create documentary film Selfless

Mission to take a closer look at clothing donation bins

Recent deaths around the country have caused some communities to ban the bins for safety concerns

Live demos and stunt shows part of Vancouver Motorcycle Show

Annual event returns to Tradex in Abbotsford from Jan. 18 to 20

Students seen mocking Native Americans could face expulsion

One 11-minute video of the confrontation shows the Haka dance and students loudly chanting

B.C. VIEWS: Fact-checking the NDP’s speculation tax on empty homes

Negative-option billing is still legal for governments

May plans next move in Brexit fight as chances rise of delay

Some say a lack of action could trigger a ‘public tsunami’

Group challenges ruling for doctors to give referrals for services that clash with beliefs

A group of five Canadian doctors and three professional organizations is appealing

Major winter storm wreaks havoc on U.S. travel

Nearly 5,000 flights were cancelled Sunday around the country

VIDEO: Koch’s OT winner sends Giants to sixth straight victory

Three games, three cities, three victories for Lower Mainland-based G-Men’s major junior hockey team.

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

Most Read