CTV's Lynda Steele hit the streets armed with a mini tax quiz to find out how the HST is affecting your household budget.

It's the most controversial tax in B.C. history, but do you really know how the harmonized sales tax is affecting your household budget?

CTV's Lynda Steele hit the streets armed with a mini tax quiz to find out. Many people were confused about what has gone up in taxes with the HST and what has gone down.

The list of items that dropped in price under the HST is short and somewhat surprising:

  •   Luxury vehicles over $55,000
  •   Save one per cent on hotel rooms in B.C.
  •   Save $1.50 a day on rental vehicles
  •   Disposable diapers
  •   Residential energy
  •   Alcoholic beverages

Now check out the list of things that went up after the HST:

  • Wedding services
  • Funeral costs
  • Domestic plane and train tickets
  • Bus and taxi rides
  • Parking
  • Concert, museum, movie tickets, live theatre
  • Golf and gym memberships
  • Soccer lessons
  • Haircuts
  • Basic cable
  • Residential phone service
  • Landscaping
  • Massages
  • Shoe repair
  • Tailoring services
  • Dry-cleaning
  • Veterinary care
  • Vitamins
  • Restaurant meals
  • Newspapers and magazines
  • First aid kits
  • Safety helmets & bicycles
  • Campsites

According to the B.C. government's own website, 57 services and products B.C. consumers use every day went up under the HST. A total of six products and services went down.

That's just one side of the HST story. People who want to see the tax stay insist that while it may be costing consumers more in the short run, it will benefit us all in the long run, when B.C. businesses start hiring more people and passing on the tax savings to customers.

With a report from CTV's Consumer Reporter Lynda Steele