OUR VIEW: Make your HST voice heard

The drama involving the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) is about to come to an end. Come this Friday (Aug. 5) at 4:30 p.m. HST referendum ballots will no longer be accepted and we will soon find out if the current system will remain or if we will go back to the old provincial sales and goods and services tax model.

The drama involving the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) is about to come to an end.

Come this Friday (Aug. 5) at 4:30 p.m. HST referendum ballots will no longer be accepted and we will soon find out if the current system (with government promised decreases over the next few years) will remain or if we will go back to the old provincial sales and goods and services tax model.

While there have been some, like Minister Kevin Falcon, who preach of the virtues of the HST, there are also those that are against the controversial tax – it is a polarizing topic.

Falcon says that many countries, and the world’s fastest growing economies are using an HST-type of taxation system; a retail sales tax hasn’t been introduced in years, he insists.

He also says that those against the tax are trying to make it an emotional issue and not focusing on the facts.

There is no shortage of opinion on the other side, as a number of people have submitted letters voicing displeasure at the tax. Some have accused the provincial government’s plan to lower the HST rate – from 10 to 12 per cent over the next few years – of being a bribe.

Some have said that the HST is the provincial government taking from poor families and giving to the wealthy.

More than one person has written in accusing the B.C. Liberals of lying about the HST.

The Grand Forks Gazette has also spoken up against the HST, saying that it is forcing its customers to pay more for subscriptions, ads etc. because it didn’t charge PST under the previous tax system – even with the proposed HST decrease, customers would still be paying more.

Regardless of how the vote turns out, there is sure to be people that are happy with and angry at the results and there may even be some complaining as well.

That is why it is important to cast your HST ballot by the deadline, in fact, to avoid any unforeseen circumstances, mail or drop of your ballot earlier.

Also, read the instructions carefully and follow the instructions to the letter; it would be a shame if your ballot was spoiled because you simply forgot to sign your name or you put the mixed up the order in which the ballot and secrecy, certification and ballot package envelopes are supposed to go.

You have an opportunity to change the course of taxation in the province and you shouldn’t waste the opportunity.

If you don’t vote and the side you support loses, you have no right to complain.

– Grand Forks Gazette