Some of what the BC Liberals are claiming about the HST

Good Evening Editors

I have forwarded this e mail from Minister Bill Bennett about some
misconceptions being pushed by those opposed to the HST.  There is no
doubt many are pissed about the HST and its supposed impact on the
average and non average individual.

There is no doubt that this information should have been spread to the
public over four months ago.  But so be it.  Apparently, the media and
PR folks down in Victoria have not figured out how to send information
to the public too well and particularly, on this topic.

Be that as it may, Minister Pat Bell, Minister of Lands and Forests
has put together this compilation giving some facts that are getting
lost in the clutter of chatter.

Many in the Columbia River Revelstoke BC Liberal Directors for the
constiuency are upset and have been for months with those in Victoria
and with their media non starters.  I for one, liken this “debate ” to
the same concerns and fears that were expressed prior to the
implimentation of the GST many many years ago.  No different in the
fears and virtually no different in the words describing how life as
we know it will implode.

If you could share this information with the public in your individual
newsoutlets, it could go a long way towards the public understanding
the ” facts ” rather than the fear factors.

If you have any questions about this topic and want our input from
here in the Columbia’s, by all means, call me on my cell and I would
be more than pleased to speak with you.  If I don’t have the answer to
your question immediately, I will get the answer and get back to you
Without question

David R Pacey
BC Liberals Columbia River Revelstoke
Cell  250 342 1524

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Bennett.MLA, Bill <>
Date: Mon, Apr 19, 2010 at 2:14 PM
Subject: MLA Bill Bennett with the Facts on HST

Hello All,

There are some very misinformed, even dishonest statements being made
in our communities about the Harmonized Sales Tax. While it is true
the tax will apply to some items not formerly taxable, the real cost
to consumers is minimal and the benefits in terms of jobs and
investment are major.

My friend Pat Bell put together the Ten Facts below that sorts out
some of the misinformation. Pat owns two Wendys restaurants. Wendys
corporately supports the HST because they accept that the restaurant
business is better off when people have good jobs.

1.       You may have heard  “The HST adds $2,100 to your yearly costs”

a.       You would need to spend an additional $30,000 on currently
PST-exempt items to reach $2,100

b.      For a Family of 4 with a $60,000 annual income the true impact
is $8.91 per month.

c.       A Senior Couple with a $30,000 income will be impacted by an
additional $1 per year.

d.      A Family of 4 with a $90,000 income will be impacted by an
additional $14.83 per month.

e.      A Family of 4 with a $30,000 income will actually benefit by
$44.58 per month (because of the BC HST Credit)

2.       You may have heard “Everything will cost more”

The vast majority of retail items will see no tax change with HST

Items on which you pay PST and GST today stay exactly the same. (7%PST
+ 5%GST = 12% HST)

a.       New cars, trucks, boats, recreational vehicles

b.      Furniture

c.       Electronics

d.      Kitchenware

e.      Toiletries

f.        Hardware and tools

g.       Adults clothing

h.      Pet Food

3.       You may have heard “Housing will cost more”

a.       No HST on used homes  which make up 80% of total sales in BC

b.      HST rebate will apply on new homes up to $525,000 – maximum $26,250

c.       Homes above $525,000 are eligible for a rebate of $26,250

d.      In BC –  73% of home sales are under $500,000

e.      In Northern BC  99%  of home sell for less than $500,000

4.       You may have heard  “You’ll pay more for car insurance, home

The HST won’t change the price of any of those items. They are exempt.

5.       You may have heard “Staying warm and keeping the lights on
will cost more”

Home heating fuels and residential electricity are eligible for a
point-of-sale rebate, including:

a.       Oil

b.      Natural gas

c.       Propane

d.      Wood and wood pellets

HST won’t increase the cost of heating or powering your home

6.       You may have heard “It will cost more to feed my family”

These are ALL zero rated –

a.       basic groceries such as milk, bread, and vegetables.

b.      agricultural products such as grain, raw wool, and dried tobacco leaves.

c.       most farm livestock.

d.      most fishery products such as fish for human consumption.

e.      prescription drugs and drug-dispensing fees (in case you buy
these at the grocery pharmacy).

The general rule of thumb is – if there is currently GST on any item
at the grocery store than HST will apply.

7.       You may have heard “The disabled will be impacted by
additional cost for medical devices”

These Medical devices are zero-rated:

(a)    hearing aids

(b)   heart-monitoring devices

(c)    hospital beds

(d)   breathing apparatus

(e)   asthmatic devices

(f)     prescription eyeglasses/contact lenses

(g)    artificial eyes

(h)   artificial teeth such as dentures, crowns and bridges,
orthodontic appliances

(i)      aids to locomotion such as a chair, commode chair, walker,
wheelchair lift or other aid to locomotion for use by an individual
with a disability

(j)     patient lifters

(k)    wheelchair ramp; portable wheelchair ramp

(l)      modifying motor vehicles to adapt the vehicle for the
transportation of an individual using a wheelchair

(m) prescription orthotic and orthopedic devices

(n)   prosthesis/devices

(o)   canes or crutches

(p)   articles for blind individuals

(q)   guide dogs for blind individuals and hearing ear dogs

(r)     supplies and services related to medical and assistive devices.

8.        You may have heard “Children’s clothes and items will increase”

Children’s clothing and items below will not be subject to the
provincial portion (7%) of the HST or HST exempt

(a)     Children’s clothing designed for babies, girls, and boys up to
and including girls’ Canada Standard Size 16 and boys’ Canada Standard
Size 20, or clothing designated for girls and boys in sizes small,
medium or large if the clothing does not have a designated Canada
Standard Size would be eligible for point-of-sale rebate.  This would
not include costumes or clothing like sports protective equipment.

(b)    Children’s footwear designed for babies, girls, and boys up to
and including girls’ size 6 and boys’ size 6, including footwear
without a numerical size that is designated for girls or boys in sizes
small, medium or large would be eligible for point-of-sale rebate.
This would not include skates, rollerblades, ski-boots, footwear that
has cleats, or similar footwear.

(c)    Diapers, including cloth and disposable diapers designed for
babies and children, and diaper inserts and liners, rubber pants, and
training pants would be eligible for point-of-sale rebate.
Incontinence products would be zero-rated under HST, in accordance
with current GST rules.

(d)   Children’s car seats and car booster seats that are restraint
systems or booster cushions that conform with Transport Canada’s
safety requirements for Standards 213, 213.1, 213.2 and 213.5, as
described under the federal Motor Vehicle Safety Act would be eligible
for point-of-sale rebate.

9.       You may have heard “Education costs are going to increase
including my child’s music lessons”

Educational services such as courses supplied by a vocational school
leading to a certificate or a diploma which allows the practice of a
trade or a vocation, or tutoring services made to an individual in a
course that follows a curriculum designated by a school authority;
music lessons are not taxable.

10.   You may have heard “HST will hurt small business”

HST will be good for business. It will replace hidden sale tax and
small businesses will get additional tax cuts.  Currently, PST is
applied at every step in the creation of a product. Those multiple PST
charges are embedded in the price you pay at the store – even though
you can’t see it. And of course, you pay PST on the final purchase
price. Under the HST system, most of those embedded costs are removed
and savings can be passed on to the consumer.

Thank you for taking the time to read the facts.  As always, I invite
your comments and questions.

Bill Bennett

MLA, Kootenay East

Constituency Office: 250-417-6022