: The BC HST, another grande screwup?

Aug 26th, 2009, 09:09 AM

Aug 26th, 2009, 09:42 AM
All of the Mac consultants I know say that this will KILL them right now.

If the economy were better, they don't seem to be opposed to the idea in general, but at the MOMENT it's a 12% tax hike on service customers (which is the bulk of what a Mac guru does). Timing = not great.

Aug 26th, 2009, 10:38 AM
Having spent the last week in BC, there wasn't a single person we spoke to who had anything good to say about it, despite the positive spin some newspaper articles were putting on it.

Have a cousin whose daughter is getting married next year, they moved the date to the spring from the fall in order to save the tax...

As tourists, we'll definitely rethink destinations. We love visiting BC, but at what expense? Even with the PITA of crossing the border, Montana, here we come!

Aug 26th, 2009, 10:50 AM
All of the Mac consultants I know say that this will KILL them right now.

If the economy were better, they don't seem to be opposed to the idea in general, but at the MOMENT it's a 12% tax hike on service customers (which is the bulk of what a Mac guru does). Timing = not great.

Well, a 7% hike because the 5% GST is already mandatory on service and consulting for any reporting company or individual service provider. And the 7% PST is already applicable on any service which requires taking a screwdriver to a machine (modifications or repairs to a tangible object * ) or custom programming --only pure knowledge work such as software installation ** , writing, consulting and training are officially exempt. A regulation which is more recognized in the breach than the observance, of course.


* "A taxable service is any service provided to install, assemble, dismantle, repair, adjust, restore, re-condition, refinish or maintain Tangible Personal Property. Generally, if an item is taxable when purchased, services provided to that item are also taxable."

** Exemptions:
"services provided to software, such as installing, configuring, repairing, restoring or providing corrective action, including the removal of viruses "

Aug 26th, 2009, 10:52 AM
GST clobbered Ontario when it came in, and the province has never recovered, being transformed from a "have" to a "have not" province. I expect HST to finish off what was started. Of course, overtaxation has created the biggest single economy in the nation, that of the underground, "tax free" economy. Not only that, overtaxation has made driving out to the Reserve a very popular trip, and not only for smokes (they already have over 50% of the tobacco business in the province, and something like 1 million people buy smokes from there), but for all sorts of goods, even iPods and Macs, since a quick drive out is worth the 13% savings off the top.

It is not that this tax money is going to anything good. It is only going to the vast machinery of waste, like the eHealth garbage which is nothing more that a few hundred people cashing in large with outrageous "consultants fees" - even though there is not one person among them that knows anything about computers. It would be better to pay Bob Young $10 Million and come out with some swank Red Had based solution than top pay for endless $25,000 speeches. The waste is a pandemic.

BC also gets saddled with the whole Olympics thing - a venture that rarely creates a real return on investment. Look what it did to Montreal - it went bankrupt and everyone moved away. The Big O was finally paid for a few years after it started collapsing, and now has no remaining tenants left since the Expos fled town. Of course, it is better that BC wastes money on the Olympics, because at least that creates a bit of employment and some publicity - rather than to waste it on crass garbage like eHealth, which is nothing more than a crass money wasting venture that benefits a few corrupt officials who strive to create yet another disaster prone, bureaucratic empir that will eat more money that Ollie North's shredding machine ate government documents in the old days.

Of course, the added tax will simply lead to many more "cash" or "barter" situations for consultants - but will clobber retailers and legitimate service departments.

Aug 26th, 2009, 11:09 AM

Aug 26th, 2009, 11:40 AM

I think I know the chief for the Capilano Indian band? Not sure I have the name right, but it's the local reservation. This could be a good opportunity for them to jump on. I'll have to see what he thinks next time I bump into him and some of the other prominent Native characters in the area. Very industrious bunch.

No, it's not a legitimate dodge. A non-Indian purchasing goods (possibly excepting tobacco and motor fuels, which have separate regulations) on reserve land is not exempt from sales tax.

Finance - Provincial Sales Tax (http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/business/consumer_taxes/provincial_sales_tax/exemptions.htm)

"Under the Indian Act (Canada), Status Indians and Indian Bands are exempt from PST where the sale takes place on reserve land, or title to the goods takes place only once the goods have been delivered to a reserve location. Leases to Status Indians are exempt where the individual is resident on a reserve.

The item purchased or leased must be for the personal use of the individual or for the use of the band.

Only individuals who qualify as an Indian under the Indian Act (Canada) and hold a "Certificate of Indian Status" card issued by the federal government are eligible for the exemption."


To summarize: Only status Indians are exempt, and only for goods for their personal use, and only if sold on reserve or delivered directly to reserve.

Non-Indians purchasing goods on reserve, and status Indians taking delivery of goods off-reserve are not exempt.

Aug 26th, 2009, 11:58 AM

Aug 26th, 2009, 12:23 PM
That's really interesting.

Are the rules different for Ontario or are people breaking/bending the rules there too?

You'd have to check Ontario's legislation, but as far as I know the basic rules are laid out in the Federal Act, and the provinces follow those.

Aug 26th, 2009, 12:55 PM
It;'s all about ignoring the "rules". Just like one is supposed to remit PST when they bring something across from the US - no one actually does. Same with the Reserve, where they generally won't collect the tax (except on gas), and thus, it is up to the consumer to remit the tax somehow.

For the past week, they have had a "crack down" on people that drive off of the Reserve, with illegal search and seizure of items without a warrant or writ of assistance - and the policy has been widely criticised because of this, and the fact that it is not "smuggling", since it is entirely occurring on Canadian territory, and involves no international or inter-provincial borders.

Of course, I entirely support the Native position, since the shenanigans has gone on far too long in Caledonia. It's time to give back the land that is rightfully theirs by treaty, and it is time for the white man to start living up to treaty obligations and following the rule of law. As for things like tax - it is time to stop levying unfair and unequal taxation, especially when the people do not have representation or a say in how the money is to be wasted. The only people that are held "accountable" are those who simply go into a store and purchase a product. No one in Government has ever been found in contempt of the people, and those that are caught red handed looting the treasury not only get away with their crimes, they are rewarded with hundreds and thousands of dollars in "severance" for their crimes.

HST is nothing more than a collossal rip-off, and the citizens of BC should prepare to thoroughly punish the despicable politicians that have worked to ruin the province with this filthy, corrupt tax - in the same way that Ontarians really need to organize, rise up and overthrough the contemptable McGuilty regime for their endless crimes against the people of the province and nation.

As for the "law" - since the Government sees fit to overturn the law when it comes to land claims or selling land to developers that is no theirs to sell - I see no problem with people "forgetting" to charge and collect a contemptable tax. Our nation is severely overtaxed, and the tax money collected goes to a variety of wasteful efforts, like in sustaining a fraudulent health care system that benefits a handful of executives, or by sustaining the extravagant lifestyles of teachers that molest children while instilling Marxist doctrines instead of providing education.

But then again, Ontario is so pathetic these days that one can't even get a driver's license these days because of a strike that could easily be settled if they hadn't wasted tens of millions on the garbage eHealth system - a system that is even more pathetic and useless than the Federal Gun Registry...

Aug 26th, 2009, 03:19 PM
This new tax is not going over well in BC at all.

... (snip) ...

So much for the low tax promise. The lower your income, the more this will hurt you.

What thoughts and feelings do you have towards this new tax and it's implications?

Campbell and the government's big business supporters are running around saying how the HST will save businesses money which they will pass on to consumers ... blah ... blah ... blah.

Of course, nothing will get passed on and any savings are only to large corps, the time saving for small firms will be negligible. Corporations savings will get passed on to stockholders. In my case, I believe it took me all of 15 minutes to work out my PST collected every month. Granted there will be other savings such as tools and other things I bought that weren't for resale that I can now claim as input tax credits on my new HST return, but again, small potatoes unless you're a big corp. I believe this will save them money, whether it ever gets passed on is something we'll likely never be able to gauge.

Campbell is saying this will be "revenue neutral" --- pure hogwash. Campbell is looking to get a whole whack of extra tax revenue from previously GST only services that he hopes will offset the upcoming deficits that he lied about during the last election. If he TRULY wanted to make it revenue neutral, he would lower the provincial share by a few percent to offset the extra revenue from restaurants and services that will be flowing to Victora. Unless he was to lower the new HST to something like 10%, he's lying.

But Campbell may have screwed himself with some of his biggest supporters. The BC construction industry and the BC hotel and restaurant industry were two of the BC Libs most prominent supporters during the last election as well as previously. They put out real money to run lots of advertising against the NDP. They are now screaming bloody murder about the HST because Campbell knifed them in the back on this tax which will hurt them both massively.

In an interview with his supporters just prior to the election Campbell went on the record stating specifically there would be no move towards an HST, a direct answer to a question. We now know that this was at the same time his ministers were opening talks with Ottawa on how they would bring in the HST.

With this as well as another big support group, seniors (due to health cuts), all screaming at the BC Libs, I suspect they would go down to massive defeat if an election were held today. But Campbell knows that 4 years is long time and figures that he or his successor will have enough time to re-fool the public again in 2013.

Aug 26th, 2009, 03:48 PM
GST was supposed to be "revenue neutral" - but of course, we know that it was used to great advantage to make Herr Martin look like a wunderkin, as well as providing a great deal of money for the Fiberals to waste on garbage like AdScam.

Campbell is probably not relying on the four year wait to lose at the polls - simply knowing full well that the Opposition is entirely capable of fragging themselves, even if the campaign was this month. Same thing happened in Ontario, where McGuilty ended up not only reelected, his party only lost one seat, simply because Tory and the Tories decided to frag themselves with the world's dumbest policy statement that followed them around like toilet paper stuck to the bottom of their shoes...

Aug 27th, 2009, 05:14 AM
Well, a 7% hike because the 5% GST is already mandatory on service and consulting for any reporting company or individual service provider.

You're right. I stand corrected. But it's still a significant price hike in a time of recession, which was my point.

Aug 27th, 2009, 05:18 AM
But Campbell knows that 4 years is long time and figures that he or his successor will have enough time to re-fool the public again in 2013.

I hate to sound cynical but I must agree. Campbell managed to keep enough of a lid on various issues (mainly the exploding deficit, but also the missing emails, the HST, the rail deal etc etc) until JUST after the election and then *surprise!*.

If he keeps this up, there could be talk of a recall. A lot people who voted for him are NOT happy these days.

Aug 27th, 2009, 06:20 AM
Gordo will be 65 when his term ends. He doesn't give a damn about being Premier after this term. He gets to hang his hat on the 2010 Winter Games, and he gets to pay back his corporate support via the HST. Then he rides off into the sunset, to where his vacation properties await him.

It's just the Canadian version of, "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them".

Cynical? Who, me? ;)

Aug 28th, 2009, 02:06 PM
If only someone in Vancouver had a rocket launcher?...

Aug 28th, 2009, 09:54 PM

Aug 29th, 2009, 05:50 AM
I've just discovered today that the BC Liberals (who, it should always be remembered, are NOT the same party as "the Liberals") cut $35,000 from my favourite theatre, and I hear rumours of more arts cuts to come. This really irritates me, in a recession we need the arts MORE, not less ...

Sep 7th, 2009, 09:47 AM
With all respect, the current economic situation is making for very difficult decisions. Given that revenues have plummeted dramatically, what should the gov't do? Everyone (and i am a huge arts supporter) has their favourite thing that they don't want to see cut. We have to cut something though, or we wind up in the kind of deeply deficit crippled situation that many US states and cities are.

Sep 7th, 2009, 09:50 AM

Politics in BC is always weird.

where else can you get to see the Premier's house raided by the RCMP on the evening news?
It makes for a very entertaining environment. You just can't take it all too seriously.

Sep 7th, 2009, 10:22 AM

Sep 7th, 2009, 11:32 AM
Why don't we shoot our lousy politicians like the Americans used to do before George Bush?

Not enough bullets - that and the fact Americans rarely shot their lousy politicians, but the cream of the crop, like Garfield, Lincoln and Reagan. No one would waste a bullet on Bush simply because they would be worried about the revenge Cheney would have dished out - considering what that dude would do to his good friends...

Now on board fighting the HST with Carole James and the NDP is former Socred Premier Bill van der Zalm.

Things are so bad in Ontario that the impending HST disaster that is looming in less than a year isn't even talked about. Not only has industry collapsed in this province, just wait until the trucks start shipping out equipment once we get stiffed with 15% HST. I remember when our PST went up 1%, and in response, thousands of stores and hundreds of manufacturers pack up shop or fled. Of course, no politician around here is even saying anything, because they all want it because it will provide economic stimulus to the public trough, the pork barrels, and in the graft and corruption industries.

He went from Fantasy Gardens to destroying the Socreds with Fantasy Government. Today the Liars govern BC from the Twilight Zone.

We had the same thing with the fraudulent government of Bob Rae - who is currently in place hijacking the Liberal Party of Canada. One four year dose of Rae as PM, and this country is done like burnt offerings, and places like Somalia will look like economic miracles. Just like when he trashed the economy of Ontario, converting it from a have to a have not basketcase. Yeah, the good old days, when Civil Servants were forced to work without pay in a state of legalized slavery, and when workers were made victims of the crimes of the state.