EDITORIAL: No guarantees of lower bills under PST

While restaurants expect diners to pay less, the real effect of return to PST are anyone's guess

With the return to a combination of a seven-per-cent provincial sales tax and five-per-cent federal goods and services tax April 1, the harmonized sales tax experiment will come to an end in B.C.

Taxpayers shouldn’t count on having more money left over at the end of the month, however, as the changes made by the province in the wake of the initial HST – tax credits for lower-income families and seniors among them – will also come to an end.

There will nonetheless be good news for consumers in certain sectors.

Butchart Gardens food and beverage manager Bob Parrotta, who serves as the Victoria branch chair for the B.C. Restaurant and Foodservices Association, insists that patrons will see a reduction on their bills after the PST is reinstated, with the net result being a four to five-per-cent increase in sales.

If that materializes, and there’s no guarantee it will, it could create jobs and benefit other related businesses. Other consumers, such as those planning to purchase a brand new home or buying a new bike, may see large savings in one transaction.

The HST was supposed to provide a less complicated tax regime for the sale of goods and services and eliminate exemptions and hidden taxes created under the PST/GST system.

There were still loopholes. For example, a person buying a donut at Tim Horton’s would pay tax on their purchase, while the same donut at a grocery store would not be taxed, since it was considered a grocery item.

We hope the work the province has done on reforming the PST, since the public voted the HST out with a 55-per-cent majority, makes B.C.’s tax system more streamlined.

Regardless, the public can’t expect things to be perfect under a system previously found to be inefficient and unfair, not to mention unwieldy for business.

At the very least, we fully expect businesses that complained loudest about the HST to put their money where their mouth is and prove to customers they are saving money under PST/GST.

Just Posted

Deep Cove man running 50 km every month through his 50th birthday year

Ultrarunner hopes Deep 50 Challenge will raise $5,000 for Help Fill A Dream

Local author wins gold medal for new book Fat Cats

Former parks warden’s series welcomes new addition to the canon

Oak Bay to host secondary suite open house on Thursday

Online secondary suite survey will run April 25 until May 10

Ancient microbes discovered off the Juan de Fuca Ridge potentially offers glimpse into alien life

The marine bacteria is dependent on hydrogen, a compound present almost everywhere

Volunteers needed for annual Mother’s Day walk

Breast Cancer Society of Canada hosts annual Mother’s Day event

WATCH: Movie star and PACE alum Calum Worthy talks musical theatre and his career

“American Vandal” and “Austin and Ally” actor has been returning to the program for over 20 years

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

RCMP confirm witnesses say body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Global Affairs warns Canadians in Sri Lanka there could be more attacks

A series of bomb blasts killed at least 207 people and injured hundreds more

Most Read