A taxing debate

Thanks to grass roots uprising of over 710,000 B.C. citizens who signed a petition demanding a referendum on the HST, between June 13 and July 22, you have the opportunity to change B.C. tax policy with the mail-in referendum on whether or not to extinguish the HST.

During the time between the announcement of the HST, and our chance to finally voice our opinion on the tax, we have been told many things.

Originally we were told that this tax was “revenue neutral” and would result in no new tax revenue to the B.C. government. Now we are told that the HST will generate much needed income for the government to pay for education and health spending. In fact it has been determined that in the first year of collecting HST that B.C. families and consumers were taxed an additional $1.33 billion in sales taxes, and B.C. businesses paid $730 million less in taxes. It is also projected that over time the amount of increased sales tax collected because of the expanded scope will grow to be so large that it is suggested that we could never afford to go back to the old taxation model because of the loss of revenue to the province.

Originally we were told that the HST would not cost the average British Columbian more in additional taxation or expense. Now we are told that the HST costs the average British Columbian over $350 a year in additional tax, and to assist low income families and seniors the government will bribe us with lump sum payments to help with this costly transition.

Originally we were told that we just didn’t understand this complicated new tax.  Now we are being told that we have been listened to and if we just vote for the tax and vote for the party that brought us the tax in the next election, and if everything goes to their plan, then we might see some decreases in the tax in 2013 and 2014.

I have heard so much double-speak and contradiction from the B.C. Liberal propaganda machine, I don’t know what to believe anymore, other than not to believe any of it. We have an opportunity to take back our democracy and to having a meaningful impact on the tax system in B.C. Please vote yes to extinguish the HST.

 

Gerry Taft

Invermere