Sharing with you things that are on my mind...Maybe yours too. Come back to Wrights Lane for a visit anytime!

21 April, 2009

DISCORD ON HARMONIZED SALES TAX

Click graphic for enlarged view.I have refrained from using Wrights Lane to discuss political issues, but I am breaking from precedent with this post. Generally we Ontarioites accept most Queen's Park initiatives as facts of life with barely a flinch, but I strongly believe that now is the time for seniors in particular to stand up and be heard on a matter that is certain to cost us dearly.
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I am talking about the Ontario government's plan to combine GST and PST into one tax, otherwise to be known as the Harmonized Sales Tax, or HST.
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In fairness, the Harmonized or blended theory is quite understandable, but the plan to apply it to items that were previously PST exempt is ill-advised and will cost all of us hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on every day needs. The intention to cut down on the paperwork burden will certainly be welcomed by Ontario businesses as will be the opportunity to lessen staff by merging departments. But there is a problem...And that problem is the fact that the new tax will apply to almost all goods and services that you and I do not pay PST on now.
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We are about to become the victim of the largest tax hike in our history. Just look at a few of the things that are to be charged the extra eight percent (8%): gasoline, home heating fuel, water, hydro, used cars, government and city services, and any service you now use for your home or business i.e.) repairs, professional services and construction materials, to name a few. In reality, almost everything currently without PST in our life (except children's clothing, prescriptions, diapers and feminine hygiene products) will now cost 8% more. And here's the kicker, the fuel tax will slide with the increasing cost of gasoline.
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The $1,000 bribe being offered to families with income of $160,000 or less and $300 to singles with income of $80,000 or less will not even cover half of the increased cost to the average Ontario family. Hardest hit will be low-income families who will not see their benefits or incomes rise accordingly. Bear in mind also that the payout to families will be in the form of three installments over a two-year period.
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I get the sneeking suspicion that Premier Dalton McGuinty is counting on taxpapers to do what they always do when a new tax is implemented. Nothing! It is exceedingly important that we research this issue and discuss the injustice of it with friends and family. In the end we need to move quickly to contact our local MPPs and to file objections with the Premier himself. We can suggest two possible options: 1) STOP THE TAX GRAB ALTOGETHER OR 2) DO WHAT WAS ORIGINALLY INTENDED AND BLEND THE TAX ONLY ON THE PRODUCTS THAT NOW HAVE BOTH PST AND GST.
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Take advantage of a convenient objection/opinion form posted by the office of Premier Dalton McGuinty at http://www.premier.gov.on.ca/feedback/feedback.asp. Let yourself be heard!

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