Thursday, July 7, 2011
I forgot to set the timer on the TV last night, so I woke up this morning to the sound of a really annoying pro-HST commercial. Here:

Stickman: HST and PST+GST Rally from HSTinBC on Vimeo.

What annoys me most about this is how stupid our government thinks we are, and how so many of us are bound to prove them right with this upcoming election. We’ll do this by voting to keep the HST either because we sincerely believe that the 10% HST promised to us in 3 years time (like the government never breaks its promises) really is cheaper on us, or we’re greedy business owners who will now get a higher tax credit at the cost of our very own customers, or simply because the confusing way in which this election is being worded.

Vote YES to get rid of the HST and go back to the GST & PST.

Vote NO to keep the HST at 12% with a promise of lowering it to 10% in 3 years time, which still applies to more products and services than the GST & PST ever did.

What this commercial fails to tell you is that HST applies to up to 60% more services and products than GST or PST alone and is also applied to purchases that had no tax at all in the past.

The big financial benefits for HST in BC go to big and moderate sized companies who get to write off their HST and get a bigger tax back credit at their year-ends. How many average sized families in BC, do you figure get to write off their expenses in order to get tax back each year? There are slight benefits of HST that go to Accountants and Bookkeepers as having one tax over two simplifies their job and gives them the satisfaction of telling their clients about the large tax refund they should expect each year.
“It’s the one issue that most observers can agree on. The HST is good for most businesses, especially for big and medium businesses. The independent review concluded that consumers this year were paying $1.33-billion more in sales taxes, after rebates and tax breaks, and business is paying $730-million less.
The HST reduces the cost of production and simplifies bookkeeping. With the provincial sales tax, business paid tax on goods and services used in each stage of production, a tax upon the tax. But under the HST, the tax is applied only when the goods are sold, or the services provided, to the consumer.
The HST has been endorsed by several businesses and business organizations, from the Business Council of B.C., which represents companies accounting for 25 per cent of all jobs in the province, to the B.C. Guide Outfitters Association.
Not all businesses benefit. Smaller enterprises and service-based companies that were not previously subject to sales tax take a hit. But many smaller businesses are agile and adjust quickly to changing circumstances. After a year of HST, small businesses may be reluctant to go back to the time-consuming bookkeeping required by the PST. “
The rationalization that the HST promises to help our economy by making it more profitable for business is not factual, but it’s hopeful predictions.
“It may take years to find out whether HST provided a boost to the economy.”
”After 2014, the HST may bring in less than the PST. Without an increase in economic growth, the HST would be cutting a big hole in government budgets, roughly $3-billion over the following five years. In other words, the reduction in the HST rate to 10 per cent could make a significant dent in provincial budgets for years. The government would be financially better off by bringing back the provincial sales tax.”
Quotes taken from the 4 page Globe and Mail article here.

We all predicted the Canucks were going to win the Stanley Cup this year too…

Personally, I come from a family on entrepreneurs and small business owners. I’m hoping to venture into my own business at this very moment. I’m still voting YES to scrap the HST this year, because I don’t want to personally benefit at the cost of my society or my clients. Under the old GST & PST system, you’d only have to pay 5% GST tax on most* of my web designing services. With HST, you get to pay 12% on everything now and maybe in 3 years that will be lowered to 10% (still double what voting YES, will cost you)! My write-offs and my end of year tax back cheques may be smaller, but it’s a small price to pay to help lessen our societies tendency to help the rich get richer while the poor are pushed deeper into poverty. It’s a small price for me to pay to discourage more big business from inhabiting our society and hopefully encouraging and empowering individuals to become entrepreneurs on their own –the decent, old-fashioned way, with social-conscience.

The pro-HST commercials make me nauseous. It doesn’t take a genius to know the reality of the decision our society has to make here – and our government clearly thinks far less of our intelligence levels than that. Help us prove them wrong!

*The only web designing services that must charge both GST and PST are those that include executable compute program within the site.

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