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British Columbia Hotel Association president Earl Wilde said this morning the Campbell administration's harmonized sales tax is a "business-friendly" decision. But, he added, "I can't say it's necessarily a consumer-friendly thing." In an interview with Public Eye, Mr. Wilde said the tax will increase the prices for meals at hotel restaurants. He'd also like to know what will happen to the provincial sales tax rebate long-term guests receive after being in British Columbia for 30 days. Although, "for business overall - especially hotels where we reinvest a huge amount of capital into properties - there's no question it's going to save money."

That being said, though, "as a consumer, I look at it and don't see a lot of upside to this," he continued. "And it did come out of the blue. But I think it was inevitable."

Which is is why Mr. Wilde and association chief executive officer James Chase very briefly brought the issue up when they met with Tourism, Culture and the Arts Minister Kevin Krueger in the hours prior to the tax being announced.

"He wouldn't even discuss it really. He probably knew it was coming out that day. But it was a bit of a shock. It was a bit of surprise. But I see other provinces following suite," he said.

"It is such an unmanageable thing from a federal standpoint to have both these taxes being collected and going in different directions. Obviously, from an administrative standpoint, harmonization is great for them. Whether it's great for everybody else, it's hard to say."

Mr. Wilde said, in the coming months, his association will be looking to see whether the two percent tourism tax levied by municipal governments "remains an add on" and what happens to the eight percent provincial hotel room tax.

The association has been an active supporter of the provincial Liberals. In its June 2009 newsletter, the hoteliers described themselves as playing a "pivotal role in the election as a leading member of the Coalition of BC Businesses and its Vote BC Jobs election campaign."

3 Comments

This may be "business friendly" for businesses that sell products that are already being taxed but for those of us in exempt sales, like repairing books, it will kill some sales. Adding 7% to a $150 average repair will mean an additional $10.50 which people will baulk at and I can't afford to eat the tax so there goes the sale.

It will depress the incomes of the growing proportion of self-employed individuals and contractors in the services sector, like myself, who need to be mindful of what the market can bear when we set fees and/or quote on jobs, especially for clients with fixed budgets.

If the majority of self-employed service providers have to start charging 7% more to cover this new tax in their fees, especially during tough economic times, I suspect the reality for many will be a cut in take-home pay. And that cut is going to be reflected in thinking more carefully about things like restaurant meals, especially if they're going up as well because of new taxes. I'd like to see what analysis the BC governemnt has done on impacts to the services sector, if any.

why is nobody talking about,

the PST and it's effect on the Provincial-buget ...?

To me , it sounds like the harmonized-Tax
will be remitted to the Fed's , who "kick-back" to the province

( ie: don't business's sumit Tax revenue's-collect , to 2 differnt office's ...?

one provincial , the other federal ...? )

---- if so ,

where does the provincial PST go ,
in terms of the Provincial-Buget estimates ...?

doesn't the Federal-Gov , become one of those "financial-Experts" the provincial-gov depends on in it's buget forcast's ...?????


would that info,
be hidden from people like Sean Holman ...?
( a reporter working on provincial issue's )


ted...(the jump to the "electric-cool aid bottle",
seem's like a strange change of face ,,,

for the BC-finance Minister )

--- how does it effect the "Transfer-payments" ---


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