Gregory Thomas, the CTF’s communications director for B.C., says voting “no” in the referendum would kill off the “63-year-old relic” of the PST. He argues that the federal government reduced the Goods and Services Tax from seven to five per cent, and B.C. could do the same.
“Here in B.C. the government could have introduced the HST at a lower rate,” Thomas said. “Instead they chose to create an expensive and confusing rat’s maze of exemptions, credits and loopholes for special interests, and pay for it by charging ordinary taxpayers an exorbitant seven-per-cent HST rate.”
Thomas noted that if the HST rate were lowered, credits paid to a million low-income B.C. residents would also come down.
For special interests, he cited home builders, who benefit from HST credits and also successfully lobbied the province to raise the exemption for new home construction to $525,000. Resale housing is not subject to HST.
The B.C. government also launched a new website at www.hstinbc.ca to offer videos and answers to frequently asked questions about the change from PST to GST.