Feds approve HST reduction

Federal government approves HST break schedule if British Columbians vote to keep HST

The B.C. Liberal government’s commitment to lower the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) rate to 10 per cent in two stages is now law.

At the request of the provincial government, the Government of Canada changed the federal regulations governing British Columbia’s HST rate.

The legislation lowers the provincial portion of the HST to six per cent on July 1, 2012, and to five per cent on July 1, 2014, subject to a ‘no’ vote in the upcoming referendum.

This would reduce the combined federal and provincial HST rate to 10 per cent by July 1, 2014.

Under the terms of the binding motion, the province would also provide one-time transition payments of $175 per child for families with children under 18 years old, and to low- and modest-income seniors, should British Columbians vote to keep the HST.