Who has laid claim to your heart and mind in the war over the Harmonized Sales Tax — the BC Liberal government or the forces non-partisan forces seeking to have the tax struck down?
Fight HST Leader Bill Vander Zalm and his confederates have released a list of what they are calling the Top Seven HST Myths on the Internet in a bid to reach BC voters.
“It’s the only way we can get our message out,” he said in a statement. “We don’t have the tens of millions of dollars that the government and big business lobby have, so we have to go through the people. It’s actually much more effective anyway.”
Although delivery of the referendum ballots was delayed due to the lockout at Canada Post, they should begin showing up in people’s mailboxes this week.
And now, without further ado, here is Fight HSTs
Top Seven HST Myths
1. The HST is now 10% – False
The HST is 12% and will not be 10% for three years – if ever. There will be an election before that, and even if the HST were to miraculously drop to 10% – it will still apply to hundreds more goods and services than a 12% PST/GST for a consumer tax increase of $1.6B per year. And who says it won’t go right back up again later?
2. The HST will lower taxes – False
This one is hilarious. The HST increases taxes for British Columbians by $2.8 Billion per year. That’s an average annual increase of $500 per person – or $1208 per average family – forever. Finance Minister Falcon says if his side loses he may disregard the result and expand the PST to items previously exempt – and that’s illegal. Do you really trust this guy to cut the rate if he wins?
3. The HST will save you money – False
And the tooth fairy is going to leave you a quarter under your pillow too. To get their numbers to show the HST actually “saving” you money they are calculating only “routine purchases” and that 90% of what you pay in HST will be passed back to you in lower prices. Have you seen lower prices?… We didn’t think so.
4. The HST benefits seniors – False
Seniors and people on fixed incomes are some of the hardest hit by the HST. A one time rebate of $175 if you vote in favour of their tax in exchange for paying it for the next 10-30 years of your retirement is a deal only a snake oil salesman would offer. Why take $175 when you can vote to cancel the HST and keep all your money? How dumb do they think we are?
5. The HST benefits families – False
Next to seniors, working families are hardest hit by the HST because they are among the largest consumers and have dependent children. Bribes of $175 per child when your cost is closer to $400 a year each makes you wonder if they think all of us failed math as badly as they did. And what about a single mom with two kids going to college? She gets nothing while the Premier and Finance Minister who earn big six figure salaries get the rebate. Nice.
6. Business will pay more so you can pay less – False
A temporary increase of 2% in corporate taxes will be passed on to consumers with increased prices. Either way you pay the final bill whether it’s in HST or higher prices.
7. We will owe $1.6 Billion if we cancel the HST – False
The “Independent Panel” says the HST generated $850 million more than budgeted. Setting aside that is the biggest tax grab in history, it means government already has $850 million to repay Ottawa. BC has only received $1B, and Ottawa collected $300M more in corporate taxes under the HST than under the PST. So it’s a wash. And keeping the HST would cost British Columbians alot more than killing it – over $28 Billion in new taxes in just 10 years.
If you oppose the HST you must vote “yes” in the referendum.
Vander Zalm says most British Columbians have figured out that no matter what kind of bribe the government tries to offer, it can’t beat killing the tax altogether.
“British Columbians have a unique opportunity to vote themselves a better deal than anything the government offers by extinguishing the tax completely,” he said. “If they do that, they don’t need any rebates, and will save all the extra money they would have had to pay under HST. It’s not a difficult decision for most people.”