The harmonized sales tax—it sounds like something Confucius might have supported during China’s Zhou Dynasty. Here in BC, however, the government’s surprise announcement that we will be adopting the HST next July 1 has brought nothing but disharmony.
By August 17, 93,000 people had joined Bill Tieleman’s NO BC HST Facebook group, and on August 6, a Global TV-Ipsos Reid poll found that 85 percent of British Columbians surveyed opposed the new tax. Not much harmony here.
And why should there be? Nobody likes what seems to be a tax grab, even if businesses do reduce their prices because they will now be able to get their PST payments repaid as well as their GST, and no longer be subject to a cascading PST on every stage of manufacture or installation. When Saskatchewan’s Conservative government adopted the HST in 1991, the move was so unpopular that it is thought to have caused the fall of the government in the election that same year.