HST transition time chance to reform tax system, says prof

B.C. voters have ditched the controversial HST, but a Royal Road University business professor says the time is still ripe for the province to streamline it’s sales tax system.

B.C. voters have ditched the controversial HST, but a Royal Road University business professor says the time is still ripe for the province to streamline it’s sales tax system.

Terry Power, a professor of strategic and advanced international studies in the RRU school of management, argues the HST was a good system for British Columbia, but rolled out in a ham-fisted way due to shabby planning.

Like many observers, Power blames the failure of the HST referendum on how former premier Gordon Campbell imposed the tax shortly after the 2009 election, and with no broad public consultation.

Power suspects mounting Winter Olympic costs may have spurred the government to seek new revenues more than the lagging global economy, and says the $1.6 billion in transition funding was a “quick fix” for a government in panic.

“The process was not done correctly due to the idiosyncrasies of (Campbell),” Power said. “The HST was a good tax, it was a step toward what I call a universal flat tax.”

The 18 month transition period to revert back to GST-PST gives the government the window to create a simple single sales tax system in an open and transparent way, he said.

Small and medium business is overburdened with red tape, Power argues, and sales taxes, if not income taxes, should be simplified for all.

“The government is at a crossroads. It can return to GST-PST and  hire 300 tax collectors and spend $300 million,” he said.

“Or they can take the opportunity to revise the tax system and return to a flat tax, if (the government) communicates what it’s doing. Campbell tried to hand down change without communicating,”

Anything akin to the HST might be seen as politically toxic within government, but Power said Premier Christy Clark isn’t completely tarnished by the Campbell era.

“I think people will work with Clark,” he said. “She has demonstrated a willingness to collaborate and talk with people.”




Just Posted

Hatley Gardens at Royal Roads, now free to public

1,500 plants recorded in garden, including 1,000-year-old Douglas Fir

Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital home to new cancer diagnostic suite

The Gordon Heys Family PET/CT Suite was unveiled at the BC Cancer Centre-Victoria

Unsealed record suggests U.S. man convicted in murder of Saanich couple left DNA on zip tie in 1987

William Talbott is set to be sentenced Wednesday in the murders of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg

Supreme Court Judge rules medicinal marijuana company must vacate farm in Central Saanich

Evergreen Medicinal Supply Inc must vacate no later than Aug. 31, 2019

Studies for E&N corridor still on track after BC Transit investments

Recent investment in bus fleet expansion doesn’t slow studies into alternative transportation routes

Surrey court clerk files human rights complaint related to concussion

Deborah A. Ryane claims her employer discriminated against her on basis of mental disability

Food fight: Liberals, Tories trade shots as pre-campaign battles intensify

Health Canada released an overhauled document that did away with traditional food groups and portion sizes

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Sexual assaults, extortion on the rise even as crime rates stay low: Stats Canada

Rates of police-reported sexual assault rose for the fourth year in a row

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Most Read