Friday, May 31, 2013

The Problem With The HST

...is, as I once suggested, that a province has to get federal approval to change the rate.  They have, in essence, handed over a piece of their autonomy to the feds.  The feds can then sandbag them with asshole moves like this.


5 comments:

Paul Kuster said...

The proposal rejected was as a regional increase. Anyway, McGuinty signed off on it.

bigcitylib said...

Well, it sounds from the article that the plan is to raise it provincially, spend what was raised in GTA on transit, spend what was raised outside GTA in the area it was raised on whatever.

MgS said...

The HST struck me as a political control play in the first place.

Let me explain. In Alberta back in the Klein years, the provincial government took over the collection of property taxes for education and civic governments.

They then "own" the purse strings as to how those monies are distributed. While the civic property taxes pretty much seem to remain mostly in city hands to set the rates and the monies raised go where they should, the school boards are different situation entirely.

Now the province sets the rates, and distributes the funds as it sees fit. The school boards are now in the position of being responsible for budget management, but the province controls who gets how much (and large urban centers like Calgary or Edmonton get screwed over). Even more baffling is that the teachers' contracts are with the local school boards, but the contract is negotiated with the province.

In short, in Alberta, the government has used this control to drive their political agenda WRT education by controlling the taxes and related cash flow.

The HST structure mirrors the Alberta property tax structure - and the Harperites are no doubt planning to use it as a way to exercise control over the province by placing a chokehold on money flow.

deb Scott said...

we were forced to have HST, then we freaked out, via Vanderzalm and the referendum. BC got the HST voted out. It was stupid from beginning to end. less than 6 months to implement, major cashgrab that didnt benefit BC at all. then 2 yrs to get rid of.
Harper was probably really pissed with us, lol, and he is making the province payback the benefit he bribed the libs with:P

Rene said...

The Star article you refer to noted the federal government rejected a proposal for differential tax rates for Toronto and Hamilton region taxpayers to fund the rapid transit plan.

The article likewise states:


"In Monday’s report to the government on funding The Big Move, Metrolinx also recommended high- occupancy toll lanes, land value capture and parking fees at transit stations."


"The tax package would average $477 per Ontario household annually but could cost a two-car family of five $977 a year, according to Metrolinx."

If we are dealing with a proposal to transform all highways around Toronto and Hamilton into some toll version of highway 407, the cost per household would exceed the $ 977 stated annual cost, or would result in increased traffic on secondary roads for those seeking to avoid the tolls.

I am not convinced of the merits of the proposal, nor have its advocates done a thorough job in its advocacy, if confusion reigns as to what exactly is being proposed.