B.C. HST Reduction Gets Industry Thumbs Down

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VICTORIA — As restaurateurs continue to rail against the negative impact the HST is having on business, British Columbia Premier Christy Clark has announced a plan to lower the consumer levy and increase business taxes.

Save consumers axing the tax in this summer’s referendum, Clark has vowed to send out refunds before cutting the province’s 12 per cent HST to 11 per cent on July 1, 2012, followed by another decrease to 10 per cent on July 1, 2014. To offset the losses, general corporate income tax would increase from 10 per cent to 12 per cent on Jan. 1, 2012, along with an increase to tobacco taxes.

“We’re going to pay for this by rebalancing the burden of taxation between big business and consumers,” Clark is quoted as saying in The Globe and Mail. “Lots of families will actually be better off.”

But, it’s business owners the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA) is concerned about. “We can’t believe this is the only HST announcement,” said Garth Whyte, CRFA’s president and CEO. “The fact remains the cost of a restaurant meal is still going up because of the HST, and, to add insult to injury, the government is raising taxes on our members.”    

In a March 2011 CRFA survey, nearly 87 per cent of respondents reported a drop in sales in the six months since the tax was introduced in July 2010.

 

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