EDITORIAL: No guarantees of lower bills under PST

While restaurants expect diners to pay less, the real effect of return to PST are anyone's guess

With the return to a combination of a seven-per-cent provincial sales tax and five-per-cent federal goods and services tax April 1, the harmonized sales tax experiment will come to an end in B.C.

Taxpayers shouldn’t count on having more money left over at the end of the month, however, as the changes made by the province in the wake of the initial HST – tax credits for lower-income families and seniors among them – will also come to an end.

There will nonetheless be good news for consumers in certain sectors.

Butchart Gardens food and beverage manager Bob Parrotta, who serves as the Victoria branch chair for the B.C. Restaurant and Foodservices Association, insists that patrons will see a reduction on their bills after the PST is reinstated, with the net result being a four to five-per-cent increase in sales.

If that materializes, and there’s no guarantee it will, it could create jobs and benefit other related businesses. Other consumers, such as those planning to purchase a brand new home or buying a new bike, may see large savings in one transaction.

The HST was supposed to provide a less complicated tax regime for the sale of goods and services and eliminate exemptions and hidden taxes created under the PST/GST system.

There were still loopholes. For example, a person buying a donut at Tim Horton’s would pay tax on their purchase, while the same donut at a grocery store would not be taxed, since it was considered a grocery item.

We hope the work the province has done on reforming the PST, since the public voted the HST out with a 55-per-cent majority, makes B.C.’s tax system more streamlined.

Regardless, the public can’t expect things to be perfect under a system previously found to be inefficient and unfair, not to mention unwieldy for business.

At the very least, we fully expect businesses that complained loudest about the HST to put their money where their mouth is and prove to customers they are saving money under PST/GST.

Just Posted

Artists find showcase at Coast Collective gallery

Art from the Attic showcases forgotten treasures

Drop off your old branches in Colwood

Program helps keep city yards tidy

Premier John Horgan announces improvements to Highway 14

Construction on the $10 million project is set to begin immediately

Upgrades to Millstream overpass to begin Feb. 1

Project includes addition of left hand turn lane onto highway to Victoria

Victoria Grizzlies look to continue hot steak

Team hits the road this weekend before Family Fun Night

Monster trucks invade Victoria

Traxxas Monster Truck Tour stops at Save-On Foods Memorial Centre this weekend

Wind warning back in effect around Vancouver Island

80 km/h winds expected Saturday, Jan. 20, on east coast of Island, 100 km/h on west coast

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

UPDATE: BC Transit’s handyDart service strike delayed

LRB application by contractor means new strike notice must be issued by union

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

B.C. woman who forged husband’s will gets house arrest

Princeton Judge says Odelle Simmons did not benefit from her crime

Women’s movement has come a long way since march on Washington: Activists

Vancouver one of several cities hosting event on anniversary of historic Women’s March on Washington

Liberals’ 2-year infrastructure plan set to take 5: documents

Government says 793 projects totalling $1.8 billion in federal funds have been granted extensions

Most Read