Everyone in British Columbia remembers the day on July 1, 2010 when Harmonized Sales Tax replaced PST and GST. The buzz heard around the province was whispers of the negative repercussions it will have on small businesses to average households.
Due to the change of the HST tax of 12% the cost of new home ownership increased significantly in British Columbia. As well, where PST was only applicable to goods, HST is now applicable to both goods and services.
On May 31, 2011 the BC Legislature passed a motion committing to the province to reduce the BC portion of the HST from 12% to 10% by July 1, 2014. The province is also providing a one time transaction payment of $175/child to families that have dependents less than 18yrs of age, as well seniors will also receive a one-time payment of $175. This is expected to be paid out by the end of the year.
The Independent Panel estimated that, on average, harmonization costs B.C. families $350 more per year on their typical expenditures. By reducing the HST rate to 10 per cent, the $350 average cost now becomes a $120 average benefit for B.C. families.
HST is estimated to create almost 600,000 new jobs over the next 10 years and in another report it’s predicted that by 2020 the BC economy will be $2.5 billion larger than it would be under PST.
British Columbians have a very important decision to make on June 22. The HST referendum is a chance for you to make a decision that will impact B.C. for years to come.
Vote ‘No’ to keep HST or ‘Yes’ for GST/PST
HST Referendum Details
British Columbians will be voting in a mail-in referendum on the HST. Ballots will be mailed in June and must be returned to Elections B.C. or a Service B.C. office by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, July 22, 2011.