Opinion

X marks the spot

It’s almost all over, except for the whining.

The people of British Columbia signed petitions requesting a referendum on the Harmonized Sales Tax and the province came through. They sent out ballots to all eligible voters and even with the mail strike, the ballots arrived. Okay, so now it is time to put your X where your thoughts lie.

The decision to keep or extinquish the HST is not as easy as signing the petition was. We all hated the way the tax was brought in, and it led to Gordon Campbell stepping away from the premier’s job.

Most people, if they were asked, would likely state that the tax itself isn’t the issue.The issue is the extra tax now paid on items that were previously tax exempt, like new homes. If they had left it the way it was, there would be no question that taxpayers would embrace the HST. Most people have no problem paying 12 per cent taxes on luxury items, like cosmetics, tobacco and alcohol, but they baulk at paying extra taxes on necessities. And people are wondering where all the promised savings are and when do they start adding up.

Lowering the tax to 10 per cent over a few years is an appeasement which may or may not happen. If we have a provincial election in the next while, there is no guarantee that the lowering of the tax will occur.

British Columbians pay some of the highest taxes in the country and it is slowly but surely becoming a province of the working poor and the  increasingly impoverished elderly.

You now have your opportunity to have your say but the ballots need to be in the hands of Elections BC by August 5.

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