Snow in July not great and neither is HST

News Sep 17, 2009 Ancaster News

Re: Harmonized sales tax is good news story, Sept. 11 The News.

This column by MPP Ted McMeekin is an insult to Ontario taxpayers. To suggest HST is a good news story is like implying snow in July is great for farmers.

There is no question the HST has benefits for certain individuals and companies. It does help small firms reduce their payable taxes and may create some jobs. For middle-class taxpayers such as me, it is much more destructive.

The $236 Mr. McMeekin references in tax reduction is less than $0.65 per day and will not cover the basic increases in taxes on the so-called Tim Hortons coffee and muffin, plus other food snacks that day.

Mr. McMeekin states families will receive a $1,000 tax free rebate and singles $300. To begin with, it is one time and the material states “up to $1,000 for families.” I am a senior and it does little for me. The property tax credit doesn’t apply as my income exceeds the threshold.

Let’s deal with a few specifics. Nova Scotia implemented the tax in 1997. The government of the day was defeated the next election. I lived there at the time and sure didn’t see any more jobs or lower costs. The savings, if any, were not passed onto the consumer. The small businesses that get the tax relief in Ontario won’t pass it on either as they are hurting now, and, in many cases, barely meeting overhead.

One specific example is if you play golf or belong to a club, every fee you now pay will all of a sudden attract a new tax. If your dues are $2,000 per year, they will go up by $160. If you pay $20 to rent a power cart, it goes up by $1.60. Should your fees be higher, they will increase proportionally. If you just play occasionally, they still go up. Participate in a charity tournament, they will go up.

Do you heat your home and have lights? Guess what, the tax is applied. Hire an accountant to do your taxes? The fee gets taxed. Someone in the family dies, HST now will apply.

Recently I attended a meeting chaired by Mr. McMeekin at Ancaster old town hall. It, unfortunately, was poorly attended. I asked one specific question and it was — under the current Ontario budget, what percentage of tax is paid by individuals and what percentage is paid by companies?

In addition, under the new tax, what percentages are anticipated from both? Neither he nor the official present from the tax department could or would answer the question. I was promised an answer the next day and some three-plus weeks later, I still don’t have it. The bottom line is they don’t want taxpayers to know how much of a swing this is.

The implication anyone earning less then $160,000 would pay less in tax and 93 per cent of Ontario citizens would pay less in tax is just a dream. There are those who don’t now pay taxes and the middle class who pay most of the costs. It would appear we shall get to do it again.

Allan Gunn, Ancaster

Snow in July not great and neither is HST

News Sep 17, 2009 Ancaster News

Re: Harmonized sales tax is good news story, Sept. 11 The News.

This column by MPP Ted McMeekin is an insult to Ontario taxpayers. To suggest HST is a good news story is like implying snow in July is great for farmers.

There is no question the HST has benefits for certain individuals and companies. It does help small firms reduce their payable taxes and may create some jobs. For middle-class taxpayers such as me, it is much more destructive.

The $236 Mr. McMeekin references in tax reduction is less than $0.65 per day and will not cover the basic increases in taxes on the so-called Tim Hortons coffee and muffin, plus other food snacks that day.

Mr. McMeekin states families will receive a $1,000 tax free rebate and singles $300. To begin with, it is one time and the material states “up to $1,000 for families.” I am a senior and it does little for me. The property tax credit doesn’t apply as my income exceeds the threshold.

Let’s deal with a few specifics. Nova Scotia implemented the tax in 1997. The government of the day was defeated the next election. I lived there at the time and sure didn’t see any more jobs or lower costs. The savings, if any, were not passed onto the consumer. The small businesses that get the tax relief in Ontario won’t pass it on either as they are hurting now, and, in many cases, barely meeting overhead.

One specific example is if you play golf or belong to a club, every fee you now pay will all of a sudden attract a new tax. If your dues are $2,000 per year, they will go up by $160. If you pay $20 to rent a power cart, it goes up by $1.60. Should your fees be higher, they will increase proportionally. If you just play occasionally, they still go up. Participate in a charity tournament, they will go up.

Do you heat your home and have lights? Guess what, the tax is applied. Hire an accountant to do your taxes? The fee gets taxed. Someone in the family dies, HST now will apply.

Recently I attended a meeting chaired by Mr. McMeekin at Ancaster old town hall. It, unfortunately, was poorly attended. I asked one specific question and it was — under the current Ontario budget, what percentage of tax is paid by individuals and what percentage is paid by companies?

In addition, under the new tax, what percentages are anticipated from both? Neither he nor the official present from the tax department could or would answer the question. I was promised an answer the next day and some three-plus weeks later, I still don’t have it. The bottom line is they don’t want taxpayers to know how much of a swing this is.

The implication anyone earning less then $160,000 would pay less in tax and 93 per cent of Ontario citizens would pay less in tax is just a dream. There are those who don’t now pay taxes and the middle class who pay most of the costs. It would appear we shall get to do it again.

Allan Gunn, Ancaster

Snow in July not great and neither is HST

News Sep 17, 2009 Ancaster News

Re: Harmonized sales tax is good news story, Sept. 11 The News.

This column by MPP Ted McMeekin is an insult to Ontario taxpayers. To suggest HST is a good news story is like implying snow in July is great for farmers.

There is no question the HST has benefits for certain individuals and companies. It does help small firms reduce their payable taxes and may create some jobs. For middle-class taxpayers such as me, it is much more destructive.

The $236 Mr. McMeekin references in tax reduction is less than $0.65 per day and will not cover the basic increases in taxes on the so-called Tim Hortons coffee and muffin, plus other food snacks that day.

Mr. McMeekin states families will receive a $1,000 tax free rebate and singles $300. To begin with, it is one time and the material states “up to $1,000 for families.” I am a senior and it does little for me. The property tax credit doesn’t apply as my income exceeds the threshold.

Let’s deal with a few specifics. Nova Scotia implemented the tax in 1997. The government of the day was defeated the next election. I lived there at the time and sure didn’t see any more jobs or lower costs. The savings, if any, were not passed onto the consumer. The small businesses that get the tax relief in Ontario won’t pass it on either as they are hurting now, and, in many cases, barely meeting overhead.

One specific example is if you play golf or belong to a club, every fee you now pay will all of a sudden attract a new tax. If your dues are $2,000 per year, they will go up by $160. If you pay $20 to rent a power cart, it goes up by $1.60. Should your fees be higher, they will increase proportionally. If you just play occasionally, they still go up. Participate in a charity tournament, they will go up.

Do you heat your home and have lights? Guess what, the tax is applied. Hire an accountant to do your taxes? The fee gets taxed. Someone in the family dies, HST now will apply.

Recently I attended a meeting chaired by Mr. McMeekin at Ancaster old town hall. It, unfortunately, was poorly attended. I asked one specific question and it was — under the current Ontario budget, what percentage of tax is paid by individuals and what percentage is paid by companies?

In addition, under the new tax, what percentages are anticipated from both? Neither he nor the official present from the tax department could or would answer the question. I was promised an answer the next day and some three-plus weeks later, I still don’t have it. The bottom line is they don’t want taxpayers to know how much of a swing this is.

The implication anyone earning less then $160,000 would pay less in tax and 93 per cent of Ontario citizens would pay less in tax is just a dream. There are those who don’t now pay taxes and the middle class who pay most of the costs. It would appear we shall get to do it again.

Allan Gunn, Ancaster