HST Pros and Cons

Depending on which side of the HST debate you are on, the title of this post could be interpreted in more than one way. Last year, many in British Columbia felt that the 12% HST was foisted on us by a government unwilling to consider taxpayers’ opinions. Through the media we heard tales of woe from many restaurants that were struggling now that they were forced to charge the HST instead of just the 5% GST. We also heard from parents who were upset that necessities such as children’s clothes and diapers (which were previously exempt from the 7% PST) were now taxed the full 12%.

On the other side, we heard from the film industry that they strongly supported the HST and that it would help keep the industry strong in BC. In Ontario, foreign films, which make up 80% of the industry, were rebated both the PST and GST – not so in BC. Only the GST was rebated; therefore, productions in BC paid 7% more than in Ontario. Not surprisingly, now, as BC is preparing to take the HST to a referendum, the film industry is again a strong proponent for keeping the HST intact.

I recently wrote a cover story for the Vancouver Courier about the film industry’s desire to keep the HST and the Fight HST group’s response to that. Feel free it give it a read!

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