OUR VIEW MARCH 6: Re-implementation of PST a headache

Many say the BC Liberals lied about introducing the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) back when Gordon Campbell was leading the party.

Many say the BC Liberals lied about introducing the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) back when Gordon Campbell was leading the party.

There was public backlash and a referendum with the question, “Are you in favour of extinguishing the HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) and reinstating the PST (Provincial Sales Tax) in conjunction with the GST (Goods and Services Tax)? Yes or No?”

Fifty-five per cent of voters taking part voted to extinguish the HST and subsequently, the Liberals announced that the PST and GST system would be re-implemented by late-March 2013.

According to a release from the province, the final legislation and regulations for the PST are complete and are set to take effect on April 1.

The public exercised its democratic right in voting in the HST referendum but it might’ve been better to stay with the unpopular tax.

According to City of Grand Forks Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Roxanne Shepherd, bringing back the previous tax regime will cost the city somewhere in the neighbourhood of $50,000 and $100,000.

The reasoning is the city would receive all of the federal tax paid for a majority of goods and services back and 75 per cent of the provincial portion paid back under the HST system.

The switch back to the old system will have an effect on the city and Shepherd said that all departments in the city will be taking steps to limit the damage done due to increased costs.

The provincial Liberals erred with the strategy to introduce the HST as many thought it was done in a sneaky manner and as a result, the public voiced its displeasure in numerous ways, including rallies.

The backlash from HST implementation is even to have said to be a contributing factor to Campbell’s eventual resignation as premier.

The HST was introduced the wrong way but it has been in effect for about three years and people are used to it.

Taking it out now and reverting to the old form will be costly.

– Grand Forks Gazette