April 17th, 2024

Provincial sales tax would be palatable if it was shared fairly


By Lethbridge Herald on March 9, 2024.

Editor: 

Although the general consensus of the people of Alberta appears to be we don’t want a PST, aka Political Suicide Tax here, there are still rumblings every now and then that we need one to counteract the boom and bust cycle.

 I would be more inclined to accept a PST if the burden was shared fairly among all income classes. 

Guess what? It isn’t, and here is why. Suppose you are a hardworking individual making $45,000 a year supporting a partner and two children. Every cent that comes into your home is used to survive. You pay a PST on most things you buy with some exemptions such as basic groceries.

 You are already paying five per cent GST and now imagine an additional 10 per cent PST like they do in Nova Scotia for example. You have to buy a new fridge for $9000 and you pay an extra $135 tax! $45.00 GST + $90.00 PST which has the wonderful warm feeling name of a Harmonized Sales Tax or HST. 

Now consider your luck has changed and now you have advanced to the point that you are the CEO of a large company pulling in $12,000,000 a year and you have to replace your fridge. 

You buy a $4,000 smart fridge that tells you when your milk is getting low and you pay the HST of $600 for a total of $4,600 and you don’t even break into a sweat! On top of that, you might even be able to figure out how to claim the fridge as a business expense. Like the housekeeper at Leona Helmsley’s, aka Queen of Mean, quoted her at Leona’s trial for tax evasion, “We don’t pay taxes; only the little people pay taxes.” 

Although we are supposed to have a progressive income tax system in this country, trust me, it isn’t. 

The tax burden is supported for the most part by the middle class and the poor while the super rich enjoy government subsidies and use every loophole in the tax system to avoid paying their fair share. By the way, if you think a flat income tax is the answer, use the example of the HST above to see how unfair that system would be for the working poor.

 One more thing. The government is making promises to “fix” the housing crisis. This is not the first time this has happened. In the ‘70s the government brought out the Multiple Unit Residential Building (MURB) plan to address the housing affordability issue. The super rich developers received big tax breaks and then proceeded to build luxury condos etc. 

Why? More money for them of course! Who was the leader then? Why Justin Trudeau’s dad Pierre! Of course this problem runs through all political stripes because the super rich actually control much of the government. 

When was the last time the government offered to bail you out of a financial issue, or offered you $13.2 billion to start a battery factory in Ontario? 

Where do they get that money? Oh right, our tax dollars!

Doug Cameron

Lethbridge

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buckwheat

Well said and defined Doug.

Southern Albertan

It appears that one can apply for rebates on the provincial portions of HSTs, but it is a bit of a pain in the neck. GST rebates occur automatically when incomes are below a certain threshold. Perhaps, this sort of threshold rebate could apply to PSTs and HSTs as well.
Canada does have a luxury tax on certain items manufactured after 2018 that are worth + +. i.e. vehicles, aircraft and boats.

ewingbt

Doug I agree with you on many issues, we do not need yet another tax to be mishandled and abused by governments!
We are heavily taxed already, some hidden. I believe we need better fiscal responsibility by governments.
Did we need a the $670,000 playground in Galt Gardens? It was money that would be lost, as they say, if not spent for revitalization so we would have lost the over $350,000 of provincial funds. We didn’t need playground there when there are clearly issues to be dealt with in that area, but it was spent.
That is just one example of many! Many governments have become great a buying votes by pouring money into areas where they need more votes, bribing the voters . . . with our own tax dollars. Trudeau has mastered this as he bankrupt our country. His favourite is finding minority groups and pouring millions into those areas, and of course his useless new housing projects which are being put in areas he wants more votes from. He created the issues by many of his government policies, including the immigration policies.
It is all taxpayer dollars, whether municipal, provincial or federal and it is all paid for by us! We are already being over-taxed and are weary, especially when those funds are not spent wisely!
We are facing some tough economic times due to our national debt and the issues throughout the world which will impact us and we need to realize, times have changed!
Good letter as always Doug!

biff

on this issue, doug we agree. the system is rigged, and the hardest working people, and honest ones, carry the load. it is also sick how easily loads of public money finds it way into private pockets…be it for a “housing issue” or for greening or as incentives…royalties…tax breaks…whatever is the flavour of the day.
our govts, all parties, give away what we pay in substantial taxes to people/entities that pay little to nothing tax wise – and for zero equity in return to the public purse.
a favourite is they pay millions and billions to corps for jobs. and how many times have we been sucked out for millions and billions only to see those “jobs” never materialise or quickly disappear. and even then, that is no basis for just giving away public monies to cronies. no fair equity, then no public money.
if we are ever going to change a crooked system, that is getting worse, it will never happen with us monkeys going through the same rituals election over election that simply legitimises the crooked processes. indeed, we will have better luck hoping a 1000 monkeys keyboarding will one day produce a readable novel.
i will continue to suggest that our first, easiest step toward forcing out change, would be to go to the polls and x-out the ballot. this would demonstrate a desire for democracy, but would not lend any legitimacy to any party. surely, by now, it must be apparent that the masses get worked over, while the ultra-wealthy keep taking more…and that is despite whatever the party name is in power.

Last edited 1 month ago by biff
biff

ok, so net negs again lol
how about we keep going to the polls, then, only to swap out the present bad (owned by big corp) with the bad we booted out the time before for being bad (owned by big corp), and expect the return of that bad to now be good. it has not worked for decades, but, hey, keep hoping. the only thing is, the corruption, the waste, the negligence, the scams, the lies and propaganda… that all keeps growing and is ever the more egregious with each passing year.
so, stay stay the course ye dumbheads, and either always vote for the same party name – that is what real democracy is about?: my party name, right or wrong – or try the approach aforementioned, which is another great (as if) example of democracy.

Last edited 1 month ago by biff
Sharkmeister

I assume you meant they buy a “$900 fridge.”

DougCameron

I actually checked what I sent the Herald (copy and paste) and my copy was written $900.00 so their bad, not mine.



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