HST supporters think those of us who oppose the Hated Sales Tax just don’t get it. We don’t seem to understand how much the tax will help business and, theoretically and ultimately BC’s economy. We just don’t get it.
I agree. We just don’t get it …at least not the same way business does.
This past week, the Smart Tax Alliance, a compendium of 40 BBC businesses, joined the government’s efforts to keep the HST. The group says the tax is helping businesses save money, cut costs and expand their operations.
We do get that. We understand that’s true for many businesses and corporations.
But at what cost?
Whatever happened to the good old days when companies financed their expansion and growth through increased sales and revenues and through profits reinvested in the company … not just pocketed in ever-increasing excessive amounts and bonuses to the top executives?
And not by forcing public taxpayers to absorb an extra $1.3 Billion in taxes every year … AT LEAST $350 per family … to subsidize businesses.
The Smart Tax Alliance points out the HST has reduced costs; cut red tape; and, increased revenues. Alliance co-chair Mike Jagger, on CKNW Saturday, proudly pointed to the fact that, with HST savings, his firm Provident Security had bought two new vehicles, added two more jobs and is expanding its business.
He did not say his prices have come down for consumers, though, and he did not acknowledge that what his company is saving with the HST has been passed on as an EXTRA burden to other taxpayers.
It may be smart, from a corporate point of view, but how fair is it really for a company, let’s say, that measures revenues in millions to enjoy an EXTRA tax break at the cost of single parent families, young couples struggling to buy their first home, single people unable to even afford an unshared apartment or seniors struggling to make ends meet?
What the Tax Alliance doesn’t seem to realize is that the HST is not a tax break: it is a tax SHIFT … from business to individuals.
Over the next few weeks, the public will see and hear Smart Tax Alliance ads, featuring “financial professionals” saying the HST helps business re-invest and acts as the “engine for economic growth”, cutting administrative costs and headaches.
We get it.
But all this is accomplished … not by getting rid of the costs and headaches …but by passing them on to the rest of us….many, many people with much less money than the companies that now get the savings. How is that justifiable, especially in a province that was already boasting BEFORE the addiitonal HST savings, that BC had some of the lowest corporate taxes in North America?
I suspect running ads by corporate types benefitting from or supporting the HST will only convince a lot more people that corporations are getting still more breaks and benefits up front, while the rest of us are paying the price …. and getting it in the end.
What’s next? Income tax cuts for millionaires, raising taxes on the rest of us to make up for that … and then justifying it all with ads having the rich tell us how much they’re benefitting from their additonal savings, buying boats, new cars and getaway condos in Whistler … all helping grow the economy, of course?
We get it: it’s good when business expands and grows.
Thousands upon thousands of companies have done that by coming up with great products, competitive pricing and successful marketing … without needing subsidized operating costs by reducing their fair share of taxes and loading those onto the backs of their customers, when we buy lunch, get a haircut or just try to survive BC’s high cost of living.
Get it, Smart Alliance?