EDITORIAL: No guarantees of lower bills under PST

While restaurants expect diners to pay less, the real effect of return to PST are anyone's guess

With the return to a combination of a seven-per-cent provincial sales tax and five-per-cent federal goods and services tax April 1, the harmonized sales tax experiment will come to an end in B.C.

Taxpayers shouldn’t count on having more money left over at the end of the month, however, as the changes made by the province in the wake of the initial HST – tax credits for lower-income families and seniors among them – will also come to an end.

There will nonetheless be good news for consumers in certain sectors.

Butchart Gardens food and beverage manager Bob Parrotta, who serves as the Victoria branch chair for the B.C. Restaurant and Foodservices Association, insists that patrons will see a reduction on their bills after the PST is reinstated, with the net result being a four to five-per-cent increase in sales.

If that materializes, and there’s no guarantee it will, it could create jobs and benefit other related businesses. Other consumers, such as those planning to purchase a brand new home or buying a new bike, may see large savings in one transaction.

The HST was supposed to provide a less complicated tax regime for the sale of goods and services and eliminate exemptions and hidden taxes created under the PST/GST system.

There were still loopholes. For example, a person buying a donut at Tim Horton’s would pay tax on their purchase, while the same donut at a grocery store would not be taxed, since it was considered a grocery item.

We hope the work the province has done on reforming the PST, since the public voted the HST out with a 55-per-cent majority, makes B.C.’s tax system more streamlined.

Regardless, the public can’t expect things to be perfect under a system previously found to be inefficient and unfair, not to mention unwieldy for business.

At the very least, we fully expect businesses that complained loudest about the HST to put their money where their mouth is and prove to customers they are saving money under PST/GST.

Just Posted

Saanich walks the walk on crosswalk after student lobbied for improvements

Elanor Teel approached first Saanich about the intersection in March 2017

Firefighters across the region swing into the giving season

Local firefighter says it’s about whole community

Salmon runs produce highs and lows on Vancouver Island this year

Chinook salmon did particularly well on the Island this year

Victoria Disability Resource Centre helps people find jobs

Statistics Canada survey found people with disabilities face higher rate of unemployment

Pedestrian scrambles, underground tunnels and other downtown Victoria quirks

The area around the former Eaton’s Centre had some unique ideas

Victoria axe thrower targets world championships

Former pitcher to compete at World Axe Throwing League Championships in Chicago

POLL: Are you giving to charities over the holiday season?

In the holiday rush, amidst the hustle and bustle to find that… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 4, 2018

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Boeser scores 3, Pettersson has 5 points as Canucks hammer Blues

Vancouver picks up impressive 6-1 win in St. Louis

Battle over Saanich’s Haro Woods not yet over, says report

Draft management plan calls on Saanich to spend $142,500 to improve area

In Canada, the term ‘nationalism’ doesn’t seem to have a bad rap. Here’s why

Data suggest that Canadians don’t see the concept of nationalism the way people do in the United States

Small quake recorded west of Vancouver Island

No injuries or tsunami warning after 5.4 rumble felt some 400 kilometres from Victoria

B.C. suspends Chinese portion of Asian forestry trade mission due to Huawei arrest

Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of U.S. in Vancouver

2-year investigations nets $900,000 in refunds for payday loan customers

Consumer Protection BC says selling practices were ‘aggressive and deceptive’

Most Read