Confusion over HST in B.C.
Many British Columbians are angered and confused by the new harmonized sales tax (HST) that is set to be implemented July 1.
More than 400,000 British Columbians have now signed the Anti-HST petition, many of whom are confused by what items will be subjected to the new tax and what will be exempt.
Many think the HST will be applied to all purchases, but that's not the case. Many items such as groceries and prescription drugs will not be affected by the new tax.
What other items are HST exempt in B.C.? It's not exactly clear. Ontario has released a document explaining what will and will not be taxed.
A similar HST list has not been released in B.C., but Minister of Finance Colin Hansen says one is on the way.
"When we saw what Ontario had done on and put up on their website I immediately said this makes sense, let's actually copy what Ontario's done," Hansen told CTV News. "That should be up on our website very soon."
Here is a partial list of items that will face taxes of up to 7 per cent:
- Restaurant meals
- Hockey tickets
- Movie passes
- Airline tickets
- Real estate fees
- School supplies
Here are some items that will be not be charged the HST:
- Prescription drugs
- Motor fuel
- Feminine Hygiene products
- Motor fuel
The fact that a comprehensive list of items and services impacted by the HST has not been released has angered anti-HST campaigners.
"They did nothing to inform people about this and that is part of the reason we are getting such a huge response." Brad Slade, a volunteer with the Fight HST campaign, told CTV News.
When it comes to the HST, Slade has a blunt message for the B.C. government.
"Well duh, get it together. I think a list is pretty easy"
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Jim Beatty