Rather amazingly, Premier Gordon Campbell and Finance Minister Colin Hansen have at last come up with a list of goods and services that will be hit by the HST, a mere 10 months after they announced the HST on July 23, 2009.
But true to form, the list is woefully incomplete and misleading in some places!
Or rather - to quote the government website where it appears starts with this stark admission of failure:
"Here are some examples of common products and services purchased by British Columbians and how they will be affected by the HST. This is not an exhaustive list of all goods and services."
The reality is that even this list was only produced under pressure - because of the wildly successful Fight HST citizens Initiative petition and because the Ontario government had such a list online months ago - but not BC.
Rather amusingly, the list gets put up on a Friday afternoon - dump out the trash time in Victoria - and the same day the government releases Elections BC's solid rejection of their complaints against Fight HST. Surprise, surprise, surprise.
The list also will not give taxpayers the full picture - intentionally - of what gets whacked by the extra 7% when goods and services previously only subject to the 5% GST get taxed at 12% come July 1.
For example, the government HST list boldly states that "condo fees" are not subject to the HST. Technically correct but highly misleading, since condo maintenance fees are primarily made up of things like cleaning services, repairs, renovations and other services that will all go up 7%.
In my own condo our management firm estimates a 4% increase in our fees due to the HST only.
You also won't find that vacation properties - cabins, cottages, getaways etc - are going to be hit by the HST. Only used primary residences are not subject to the extra HST - or new homes costing less than $525,000.
Nonetheless all British Columbians should take a look at the incomplete list of HST hits - it will still come as a shock to many who thought the HST would not apply so widely.
And after you read the bad news - make sure you sign the Fight HST petition in your riding and join my NO BC HST protest group on Facebook - tell the BC Liberals you want the HST killed now!