The HST referendum results were released this morning and just over 54% voted “YES” to extinguish the combined tax in BC.
On July 1st, 2010, the HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) came into play in BC. It combined our GST (5%) with the PST (7%) into one single 12% tax.
A few months ago registered voters in BC received referendum cards in the mail. They could vote “YES” to extinguish tax or “No” to keep it. The deadline for ballots was extended when Canada Post went on strike. 1.6 million voters have decided they would like to return to the PST (Provincial Sales Tax).
Looking at the official results from Elections BC, you can see that ridings such as Surrey-Green Timbers (75.51% Yes) and Vancouver-Kingsway (72.45% Yes) were highly in favour of getting rid of the HST. Ridings such as West Vancouver-Sea to Sky (60.78% No) and West Vancouver-Capilano (64.52% No) wanted it to stay.
There are arguments on both sides about who benefitted, why it was applied to things that were PST exempt, what it meant to consumers, and where these extra tax dollars were going. As a business owner, I actually liked the HST. As a consumer, I didn’t so much. I’d love to hear your feedback and thoughts on these results.
HST in BC
Fight HST (site looks like it’s currently down)
Say No to HST in BC
“Problems with BC Business Council’s Pro-HST Study” The Tyee
“Pro-HST Economist Defends His BC Business Council Study” The Tyee
A sortable list of results thanks to Darren Barefoot