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HST Referendum underway

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Blog by Krista Marion | July 7th, 2011

HST Referendum underway

July 2011

Ballots are being distributed to BC residents by mail and must be completed and returned to Elections BC by July 22, 2011. We at EPR endorse the HST as the best tax system for the province of BC. Exercise your right to vote on this important issue.

HST facts you need to know before you vote

The HST replaces two taxes (GST & PST) with one tax, simplifying the process and saving small and large businesses at least $150M in administrative costs. All BC taxpayers HST costs are now partially offset through income tax relief.

Government legislation passed in May 2011 will reduce the HST from 12% to 10% over the next three years. This undercuts the combined PST/HST by a full 2 percentage points. The reduction means that the average BC family will pay $120 less tax than under PST/GST, by 2014. During the rate change, the government will issue one-time transition payments of $175 to low-income seniors and $175 per child to families with children under 18 yrs.

HST is an efficient consumption tax with no loopholes, deductions or exemptions for special interest groups. It removes tax duplication by eliminating the compounding effect of PST that was applied at every level – from raw materials right through to the retail level. By removing PST from the cost of production, HST makes it cheaper to produce goods and services, thereby helping overall sales and exports.

HST taxes the growing part of our economy (services sector) and will provide $800 million in additional revenue to fund health care, education and other important public services.

According to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), 83% of small businesses support a 10% HST.

In truth, the choice between PST/GST and HST really boils down to balancing the temporary savings you and your family may get by going back, against the longer term economic benefits that HST will bring to all British Columbians in the future. Virtually all independent analysts say that the HST will give the BC economy a bigger boost than under PST/GST.

If the HST is left in place, by 2020 it will result in:

· $2.5 billion increase in total economy

· 1.1 % in higher growth (or $480 per person or $830 per family)

· 4 % boost to investment in machinery and equipment

· $1.2 billion more in additional exports (1.2% higher than it would have been under PST/GST)

· 24,400 more better-paying jobs than under PST/GST (a 1% increase in total employment)