By David F. Rooney
The HST may be “cost-neutral” to the City’s government but Council is very concerned about its impact on small business and consumers, Mayor David Raven said in an interview Tuesday.
“We’re very concerned that the cost savings they (the BC Liberals) say will be realized by industry may not be passed along to individuals.” he said. “That’s a very big concern to us.”
Raven also said anyone trying to sell or buy a house, car or other big-ticket item is going to need real luck as the HST could well dampen the market for those goods.
And while big business may stand to save money as a result of the HST, the jury’s still out on whether it will save any money at all for small businesses. Certainly, many small businesses are anxious about the impact the HST will have on their bottom line. And then there are the every day consumers of Revelstoke who are finding that they have to pay more for the things they need or want. That may not be a very big deal tho those whose household incomes exceed, say, $150,000, but it could impose real hardship on those whose total household incomes are under $60,000. Revelstokians certainly seem to see it that way. More than 1,400 of the city’s registered voters have already signed the petition.
When asked if Council had expressed its concerns to Premier Gordon Campbell and Finance Minister Colin Hansen, Raven said they spoke privately with them at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities meeting late last year.
It remains to be seen whether Council will say more about the HST.
Raven indicated that Council will watch and see and he said individual Councillors are free to express their opinions and sign or not sign the anti-HST petition as they see fit.
“Personally, I think this could have been done differently,” he said. “I can understand why they’re doing it — $1.62 billion is a big incentive. They could have tinkered with the PST, lowered it and spread it around to achieve the same result. My gut feeling is that this will dampen the market.”
If you are a registered voter and haven’t yet signed the petition you can do so at one of the following locations in town:
- Silverline Auto Repair, 770 Lundell Road, 8 am-5 pm, Monday-Friday
- Spice o’ Life Emporium , 106 Orton Avenue, noon – 7 pm, Monday-Saturday
- Conversations Coffee House, 205 Mackenzie Ave, 8 am – noon, Monday- Saturday
- Daspy Fashions, 555 – 9 Victoria Road, 9:30 am – 6 pm Monday-Saturday, 9:30 am – 9 pm on Thursdays
- Grizzly Book & Serendipity Shop, 208 Mackenzie Avenue, 9:30 am – 5:30 pm, Monday-Saturday
Canvasser James Walford also says people who want to sign the petition can stop by his house at 217 4th East or phone him at 250 837 4465 and he’ll go to their house if they can’t get out.
For more information about the campaign please go to fighthst.com or call local petition campaign organizer Jim Daniel at 250-837-2562.