Smells like a tax grab

Community Aug 29, 2009 Ancaster News

On first glance the Liberals proposed introduction of a Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) next July would seem to be a boon for business.

Simply merging the five per cent Goods and Services Tax and the eight per cent Provincial Sales Tax will mean a savings of about $500 million just in administrative expenses, according to Liberal finance officials. Liberal MPPs, including cabinet minister Ted McMeekin, in town hall meetings, have touted how the HST would make the competitive field for Ontario businesses fair and balanced when going up against companies in the Maritimes, Quebec and about 140 other countries in the world, where the value added tax has been implemented. They argue businesses, if they want to remain competitive, will pass along those tax savings to customers.

Then there are the billions of dollars the Liberals, with substantial assistance from the federal Conservative government, will bestow upon residents and businesses for adopting the tax harmonization. The province is preparing to introduce next year $10.6 billion in tax relief for individuals over three years.

For instance, a couple –with a child –making $120,000 a year, will save $170 in the first year of the HST. By year three, the savings would be $120 per year. And to bolster their argument that the HST would improve the lives of low and middle-income families, the Liberals tout that a single parent making $25,000 will reap $1,025 in tax savings in year one and by year three would still recoup $455 in tax cuts.

Businesses, according to the Liberals, will feel even better when looking at their balance sheets. With the $4.5 billion in tax relief over three years, an average retailer will save $4,300 in the first year, $3,500 in year three. Business organizations have agreed, even though some individuals remain skeptical, that the HST is needed.

Yet the threat of HST has left some residents and irate groups believing the government is more concerned about saving businesses than helping people.

Liberal MPPs are concerned about how their government is portraying the HST, after the grumblings they’ve heard along the summer barbecue circuit. They feel Premier Dalton McGuinty has been too lethargic to champion the merged tax, failing to debate their critics during the summer months.

Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak and NDP leader Andrea Horwath, have touched a raw nerve among ordinary people who fear the government is dipping into their pockets yet again for the betterment of corporations. They have used the grassroots symbol of a Tim Hortons’ double-double coffee and muffin to illustrate how the average Joe and Jill would have to shell out more cash each morning while trudging to work.

And even though the HST would be exempted on children’s clothing, car seats, books and feminine hygiene products, everyday people would feel the impact of the HST on other ordinary items, like heating oil, gasoline, purchasing a funeral for a loved one, condo fees, buying a Christmas tree, golf fees, fishing licences, boat rentals, and tickets to a theatre or ball game.

The problem is the HST would remain with the public for the foreseeable future. The tax cuts once absorbed into an individual’s or business’s balance sheet, are quickly forgotten after a year. And the Liberals have a credibility problem when defending taxes. Ontarians remember the burn spot when the Liberals introduced their $300 health tax, after Mr. McGuinty promised he would not raise taxes.

For most residents, the HST is a complicated tax grab that would benefit only the business community and high-income earners, ignoring the most needy and vulnerable and sacrificing the middle-class on the gallows of competition and fairness. Levying a value added tax while Hamilton’s manufacturing sector crumbles doesn’t seem to be the best economic strategy to saving jobs.

Smells like a tax grab

Community Aug 29, 2009 Ancaster News

On first glance the Liberals proposed introduction of a Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) next July would seem to be a boon for business.

Simply merging the five per cent Goods and Services Tax and the eight per cent Provincial Sales Tax will mean a savings of about $500 million just in administrative expenses, according to Liberal finance officials. Liberal MPPs, including cabinet minister Ted McMeekin, in town hall meetings, have touted how the HST would make the competitive field for Ontario businesses fair and balanced when going up against companies in the Maritimes, Quebec and about 140 other countries in the world, where the value added tax has been implemented. They argue businesses, if they want to remain competitive, will pass along those tax savings to customers.

Then there are the billions of dollars the Liberals, with substantial assistance from the federal Conservative government, will bestow upon residents and businesses for adopting the tax harmonization. The province is preparing to introduce next year $10.6 billion in tax relief for individuals over three years.

For instance, a couple –with a child –making $120,000 a year, will save $170 in the first year of the HST. By year three, the savings would be $120 per year. And to bolster their argument that the HST would improve the lives of low and middle-income families, the Liberals tout that a single parent making $25,000 will reap $1,025 in tax savings in year one and by year three would still recoup $455 in tax cuts.

Businesses, according to the Liberals, will feel even better when looking at their balance sheets. With the $4.5 billion in tax relief over three years, an average retailer will save $4,300 in the first year, $3,500 in year three. Business organizations have agreed, even though some individuals remain skeptical, that the HST is needed.

Yet the threat of HST has left some residents and irate groups believing the government is more concerned about saving businesses than helping people.

Liberal MPPs are concerned about how their government is portraying the HST, after the grumblings they’ve heard along the summer barbecue circuit. They feel Premier Dalton McGuinty has been too lethargic to champion the merged tax, failing to debate their critics during the summer months.

Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak and NDP leader Andrea Horwath, have touched a raw nerve among ordinary people who fear the government is dipping into their pockets yet again for the betterment of corporations. They have used the grassroots symbol of a Tim Hortons’ double-double coffee and muffin to illustrate how the average Joe and Jill would have to shell out more cash each morning while trudging to work.

And even though the HST would be exempted on children’s clothing, car seats, books and feminine hygiene products, everyday people would feel the impact of the HST on other ordinary items, like heating oil, gasoline, purchasing a funeral for a loved one, condo fees, buying a Christmas tree, golf fees, fishing licences, boat rentals, and tickets to a theatre or ball game.

The problem is the HST would remain with the public for the foreseeable future. The tax cuts once absorbed into an individual’s or business’s balance sheet, are quickly forgotten after a year. And the Liberals have a credibility problem when defending taxes. Ontarians remember the burn spot when the Liberals introduced their $300 health tax, after Mr. McGuinty promised he would not raise taxes.

For most residents, the HST is a complicated tax grab that would benefit only the business community and high-income earners, ignoring the most needy and vulnerable and sacrificing the middle-class on the gallows of competition and fairness. Levying a value added tax while Hamilton’s manufacturing sector crumbles doesn’t seem to be the best economic strategy to saving jobs.

Smells like a tax grab

Community Aug 29, 2009 Ancaster News

On first glance the Liberals proposed introduction of a Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) next July would seem to be a boon for business.

Simply merging the five per cent Goods and Services Tax and the eight per cent Provincial Sales Tax will mean a savings of about $500 million just in administrative expenses, according to Liberal finance officials. Liberal MPPs, including cabinet minister Ted McMeekin, in town hall meetings, have touted how the HST would make the competitive field for Ontario businesses fair and balanced when going up against companies in the Maritimes, Quebec and about 140 other countries in the world, where the value added tax has been implemented. They argue businesses, if they want to remain competitive, will pass along those tax savings to customers.

Then there are the billions of dollars the Liberals, with substantial assistance from the federal Conservative government, will bestow upon residents and businesses for adopting the tax harmonization. The province is preparing to introduce next year $10.6 billion in tax relief for individuals over three years.

For instance, a couple –with a child –making $120,000 a year, will save $170 in the first year of the HST. By year three, the savings would be $120 per year. And to bolster their argument that the HST would improve the lives of low and middle-income families, the Liberals tout that a single parent making $25,000 will reap $1,025 in tax savings in year one and by year three would still recoup $455 in tax cuts.

Businesses, according to the Liberals, will feel even better when looking at their balance sheets. With the $4.5 billion in tax relief over three years, an average retailer will save $4,300 in the first year, $3,500 in year three. Business organizations have agreed, even though some individuals remain skeptical, that the HST is needed.

Yet the threat of HST has left some residents and irate groups believing the government is more concerned about saving businesses than helping people.

Liberal MPPs are concerned about how their government is portraying the HST, after the grumblings they’ve heard along the summer barbecue circuit. They feel Premier Dalton McGuinty has been too lethargic to champion the merged tax, failing to debate their critics during the summer months.

Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak and NDP leader Andrea Horwath, have touched a raw nerve among ordinary people who fear the government is dipping into their pockets yet again for the betterment of corporations. They have used the grassroots symbol of a Tim Hortons’ double-double coffee and muffin to illustrate how the average Joe and Jill would have to shell out more cash each morning while trudging to work.

And even though the HST would be exempted on children’s clothing, car seats, books and feminine hygiene products, everyday people would feel the impact of the HST on other ordinary items, like heating oil, gasoline, purchasing a funeral for a loved one, condo fees, buying a Christmas tree, golf fees, fishing licences, boat rentals, and tickets to a theatre or ball game.

The problem is the HST would remain with the public for the foreseeable future. The tax cuts once absorbed into an individual’s or business’s balance sheet, are quickly forgotten after a year. And the Liberals have a credibility problem when defending taxes. Ontarians remember the burn spot when the Liberals introduced their $300 health tax, after Mr. McGuinty promised he would not raise taxes.

For most residents, the HST is a complicated tax grab that would benefit only the business community and high-income earners, ignoring the most needy and vulnerable and sacrificing the middle-class on the gallows of competition and fairness. Levying a value added tax while Hamilton’s manufacturing sector crumbles doesn’t seem to be the best economic strategy to saving jobs.