It seems to me the biggest issue in the HST debate is being politely avoided both in the press and in the government literature. B.C. residents were exceedingly offended when the newly re-elected Campbell government announced the introduction of this tax without mentioning this major policy change in their election campaign. It was not debated in the legislature and received very little discussion in the press. Citizens of B.C. felt so angry and powerless that they were willing to be rallied by a highly unpopular former premier with his Fight HST campaign.
Our income tax laws are more complex than our criminal justice laws. Over the decades, politicians have fiddled with the income tax system to gain favour from the voters, and indeed this continues with the federal government recently tweaking the system with transit credits, health and fitness credits, etc. I personally know a number of people that have not filed income tax returns because they are intimated by the process.
Consumption taxes on the other hand are fairly straightforward and hopefully will remain so. The burden of collecting and remitting the taxes falls on businesses and not individual citizens. Those that consume more, pay more tax.
Many B.C. residents will vote to reject the HST because they are angry with the way the tax was implemented and want to teach the Liberal government a lesson. To my way of thinking, that is like taking a sledgehammer to a new car because you didn’t like the salesman or dealership you bought the car from.
Please cast your vote in the upcoming referendum according to the tax issues. The matter at hand is too important to the province’s financial future to be used simply as another opportunity to chastise the Liberal government over its introduction of the HST.