HST good news for BC farmers

HST is good for agriculture.

HST is good for agriculture.

Following up with the letter to the editor recently from some local cattle producers on the benefit of HST to agriculture – here is a little more information as to why the HST is a good news tax for BC farmers.

Farmers through the BC Agriculture Council (this includes the BC Cattlemen) had been lobbying for a simpler more fair tax system for many years.

The previous system of GST + PST included a very confusing PST rebate system based on an annually updated list of items.  Under the PST, farmers received an exemption from tax only on a limited list of items purchased solely for farm purposes.

While farmers were able to claim an exemption from PST on certain types of farm equipment, such as tractors, combines and incubators, they were required to pay PST on other types of equipment and many other business inputs.

The rebate system was awkward and very often left local businesses caught in the middle by not understanding and following correct procedures.  Random audits were often done and businesses were responsible for paying the uncollected taxes if the correct procedures had not been followed.

One recommendation given during the BC Agriculture Council lobbying procedure was to simply allow the farmers to claim back all the agriculture PST at the same time as the GST, very simple, very fair and no businesses caught in the middle.

The new HST accomplishes all this and more. Under the HST, farmers receive a much broader benefit because they are able to recover the tax paid on all of their purchases for farm purposes.

The rebate system for the HST works the same way it did for the GST. Before the HST, farmers could recover only the five per cent GST and only the seven per cent PST paid on items on the “list”. Now farmers can recover the full 12 per cent HST paid on all their agriculture related expenses.

Interestingly the many years of lobbying the BC Agriculture Council did to try and harmonize the PST with the GST for agriculture expenses, was not connected to the resulting new HST; it was simply a byproduct of a new tax system the BC Government chose to implement.

The BC Agriculture Council predicts the tax benefit to agriculture with HST is upwards of $20 million dollars per year. This is a welcome relief to agriculture in BC where the carbon tax and the increase in the minimum wage is expected to cost agriculture about $40 million dollars per year.

Taxes are never appreciated and never popular and I think everyone agrees the most reprehensive aspect to the new HST is the way it was implemented, seemingly very sneaky and a behind the back approach for which Gordon Campbell paid dearly.

In the big picture and for the long term the HST is good for business, good for farmers and good for B.C.  If the HST goes away; you, me and everyone else is not only going to have to come up with the tax loss out of our pocket in some other form, we are also going to be stuck with a very hefty price tag, penalty, to get out of the HST.

 

At the recent BC Cattlemen AGM convention held in Prince George both the BC Cattlemen and the BC Agriculture Council reminded those present to support the continuation of the HST in its present form and to pass the message on to all persons connected to agriculture and small business.

 

 

Just Posted

Kitimat resident is Conservative choice for fall election

Claire Rattée is a former Kitimat councillor

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Vanderhoof eligible for up to $6M in provincial infrastructure funding

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project searches for partners

TransCanada is renewing permits for its natural gas pipeline project to North Coast.

‘Riya was a dreamer’: Mother of slain 11-year-old Ontario girl heartbroken

Her father, Roopesh Rajkumar, 41, was arrested some 130 kilometres away

Police seize bottles of grapefruit vodka from wanted man’s snow-pants

The men were pushing two shopping carts with a woman inside

Tonight’s sporting event costs more than the Super Bowl, and Obama is going

Tickets are going for more than $4,000 to watch the Duke - North Carolina basketball game

CRTC: Telecom industry using unacceptable sales tactics

Regulator held inquiry on sales practices of 12 Canadian providers of wireless and internet services

CRTC report finds ‘misleading, aggressive’ sales tactics used by telecom industry

Report recommends measures to make a fairer situation for consumers

Trudeau takes personal hit amid SNC-Lavalin controversy: poll

Overall, 41 per cent of respondents believed the prime minister had done something wrong in the affair

B.C. photographer captures otters on ice

A Langley photographer was at the right place at the right time on the Fraser River

Do you live with your partner? More and more Canadians don’t

Statistics Canada shows fewer couples live together than did a decade ago

B.C. child killer denied mandatory outings from psychiatric hospital

The B.C. Review Board decision kept things status quo for Allan Schoenborn

Most Read