HST elimination timeframe set

MLA cannot hurry up HST removable because there's a timetable

To the editor:

I am writing in response to Eric Freeston’s letter, headlined MLA asked to lead quick HST removal, on page A9 of the April 25 Free Press.

I point to commentary from Bruce Ralston in Straight.com. He is quoted “NDP finance critic, Bruce Ralston, says that untangling the [Harmonized Sales Tax] HST isn’t as easy as some would think. I mean, some people have said you could just snap your fingers and get rid of it.

“I think that is administratively not realistic. The comprehensive integrated tax co-ordination agreement states the termination of the agreement establishing the HST in B.C., cannot be earlier than the date that is the fifth anniversary of the revenue measure’s implementation.

“While one government may notify the other of its intent to withdraw earlier than five years from the tax’s implementation, the deal specifies that this will be effective no sooner than the end of the 18th month period that immediately follows the last day of the calendar quarter in which the written notice of termination is received or any other time period that may be mutually agreed upon between the parties.

“This means it could take up to 21 months to terminate the HST after the federal government is given notice.”


Joe Sawchuk