January 18, 2018

HST returns

As of Monday, the provincial sales tax is back in effect.  

This comes after British Columbians had voted to get rid of the harmonized sales tax 18 months ago.

The provincial government says it has restored every exemption that had existed under the PST, from bicycles to junk food.

NDP Finance Critic Bruce Ralston says most British Columbians will be better off.

“This was a shift of tax away from business and onto ordinary citizens.   And so from a business perspective no doubt people support that, but for most people it was a major increase in tax and that was the nature of debate.”

However, not everyone is happy with the change.

Business owners not only have to spend money to alter their cash registers, they have to file two separate taxes and file more frequently.

Sayed Zaidi, owner of Robson Sports in downtown Vancouver, is not pleased with the extra paper work. 

“It was just very easy to do the filing and the taxes.  Also we were doing it every three months instead of now, we’re doing it every month.”

Ralston says the liberals haven’t done enough to educate the business community about the need to prepare for the PST. 

Also, he says an NDP government would not make any major changes to sales taxes without consulting the public.

Minister of State for Small Business, Naomi Yamamoto, said about 20,000 businesses still have not registered to collect the PST along with the GST.

Information about the PST and a full list of exemptions is available at:


The government has also set up the following toll free number to answer questions.


CKNW Vancouver News

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