Trust small business on HST: Poll

Survey finds small companies a trusted source for opinion.

As British Columbians prepare to vote in the referendum on the Harmonized Sales Tax, who do they trust for information?

According to a recent Angus Reid poll, 63 per cent of people believe small business is the most credible source.

That’s far above Premier Christy Clark (40 per cent), Finance Minister Kevin Falcon (33 per cent), NDP leader Adrian Dix (35 per cent), unions (28 per cent) and the media (37 per cent), according to the poll.

Even Bill Vander Zalm can’t touch small business, with 47 per cent saying he is a credible source of information.

Small business owners have credibility because they consistently demonstrate concern for their customers and communities, the pollster suggests. Many business owners who stood to benefit from paying lower taxes still opposed it because they were worried about their customers.

As a group, small business didn’t ask for the HST and didn’t jump to defend it when it was announced. At the initial proposed rate of 12 per cent (five per cent federal GST plus seven per cent PST), 45 per cent of small businesses supported the HST.

Support jumped to 83 per cent following the two-stage, two-percentage point cut to the provincial rate (for a total HST of 10 per cent) recently announced by Falcon.

The two-point cut to the HST makes it a definite win for businesses and their customers, Angus Reid says. With the HST, overall sales taxes would be 10 per cent by 2014.

If B.C. goes go back to the PST/GST, sales taxes will stay at 12 per cent – although taxes on items such as restaurant meals and haircuts that were previously exempt from PST, and now subject to HST, would presumably go back to being lower.

For many businesses, the polling group points out, the HST is good for the bottom line, leaving more money available to buy equipment, increase wages and lower prices.

And the HST saves businesses the headache that results from complying with two sets of tax rules.

There are a few other consequences of rejecting the HST for voters to think about, such as having to repay $1.6 billion in transition money to the federal government and spending $30 million a year to restore the infrastructure to collect PST.

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society doing ‘better than we were expecting’ amid COVID-19

At one point, the board thought it might have a donation shortfall of $250,000

Delta artist John Horton named to Order of British Columbia

Honour for significant contributions made to the appreciation and safety of B.C.’s coastal history

Man arrested in ‘after-hours club crackdown’ in Whalley, Surrey RCMP say

Police say they received information about clubs, parties ‘springing up’ at commercial properties

Former White Rock mayor, MP shares community connections via YouTube

Gordie Hogg aims to highlight those who’ve impacted South Surrey, White Rock

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Fraser Valley Bandits advance to CEBL Championship Game

Bandits post comeback 76-75 win over Hamilton Honey Badgers in Saturday’s semifinal

IHIT on scene of suspicious early-morning fire on rural Mission property

Entrance to Gunn Avenue property cordoned off while investigation takes place, updates coming

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

FURTHER UPDATE: Body removed from Maple Ridge hotel after large police presence

A large contingent of Mounties were at the Art Infiniti Hotel Friday afternoon and evening

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Most Read