The HST question is more than a simple tax question, it is a question of public trust in government.
As far as the financial side goes, you’re paying more sales tax under the HST than you would under the PST/GST: On average about $350 per family, not including necessary big-ticket items like a new house or putting a new roof on the old house which is no longer exempt from the PST.
The HST is a tax transfer from business to the public.
Yes, this will be a more efficient tax collection system with collection details in just one (Revenue Canada) computer system, but I don’t want to pay $350 every year for that privilege.
While this may look like a better collection system on the surface, I believe it will fuel the underground economy and tax revenue may decrease.
As I mull over my HST vote I am considering something much more important than a tax collection method, and that is the slow erosion of my democratic rights and freedoms.
Do we not live under a democratic system where taxes are imposed only after honest political discussion and if so, do we not want to keep it that way?
It scares me that rights and freedoms are lost in tiny bits, often gone before we notice.
Our government has established as normal that taxes can be imposed by quasi-government bodies over which we have no control. Public-private partnerships allow an exorbitant tax to cross a bridge, regional transit levies tax your Hydro bill and gasoline and assessment authority taxes on property tax and even tax on taxes like eco fees.
It also scares me that government can sell public facilities (BC Rail) for immediate gain without long term considerations.
It bewilders me that government can afford a multi-million dollar fabric roof for a sports stadium, billion dollar winter festivals (Olympics) but cannot afford bridges, public transit or other long-term public infrastructure projects that outlive their political term of office.
Hell, no. I don’t want to contribute another $350 yearly for short term blunders.
I don’t like politicians lying, then trying to buy my vote with promises of a future reprieve. If it works this time it will become another established political norm. Lie to the public then give the fall guy a plush job overseas.
The public are indeed fortunate to have a chance to express our opinion on this subject.
Myself, I expect nothing less than honesty from my government and in my opinion this is much more important to preserving our rights and freedoms than how the tax is actually collected.
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to say, “enough is enough, government must listen to the people and we demand complete honesty.”
Do not worry, the government will get your money. So vote ‘yes’ for honesty.