Make referendum on new tax comprehensive

Re: HST referendum could be done differently (Letters, April 22)

I agree with Rey Carr that the HST referendum needs to be reconsidered. When I saw the proposed wording I saw little reason to participate, since there is no opportunity for meaningful input. However Mr. Carr’s questions are too detailed and are also unnecessarily restrictive. He leaves no room for allowing the removal of the HST on some items or services. Further, he would only give us the options of a 12 per cent or a 10 per cent rate, not allowing for greater cuts or laddered cuts.

In addition to simplifying Mr. Carr’s first four questions, I suggest #5 be worded along these lines: (5) Retain the current HST system but explore options to reduce the rate of the tax and its application to certain products and services.

The simplicity of the HST system, with the attendant administrative savings to the government and to business owners, not to mention the large federal payment to the province, argue for retaining it. Therefore if we must keep it, we should leave open all options to reduce the burden and cost to consumers.

R. Magnusson

Victoria