Before committing to the HST, BC had the opportunity to study the consequences of eliminating the provincial sales tax on production machinery and equipment. Instead of commissioning Mintz to produce his paper, the Campbell government might have attempted to analyze its own tax experiment. The Campbell government eliminated the PST on "production machinery and equipment" in 2001. I submitted a freedom of information request asking how much tax revenue was foregone for each year since that exemption and for any documents that discuss estimates of changes in investment as a result of the exemption. On October 30, 2009 I received an answer saying: "Pleased be advised that the Ministry has no records responsive to your request. Budget 2001 estimated the cost of the exemption when first introduced but the cost has not been estimated since because it is not part of the Tax Expenditure Survey." Before embarking on one of the largest tax shifts in BC history, one might think that the government would have analyzed whether its initial experiment in stimulating investment worked or not, instead they hired Mintz to write a propaganda sheet.
This is a very important issue and will affect your quality of life in BC.
The sitting Provincial Government does not have a mandate to assist in imposing this tax. There I submit it is not a done deal. Anyone who thinks this is a ripoff and should not be implemented is encouraged to attend.
I'll be there. Will you?
Take a half hour out of your day and show these governments that you will not stand for this added tax burden