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article imageOp-Ed: Ontario Introduces Harmonized Sales Tax

By Carolyn E. Price     Mar 26, 2009 in Politics
Today, smack dab in the middle of a tsunami of horrible economic news, the Ontario provincial Liberal government has introduced what many will see as a massive tax grab, just when we all can least afford it.
On Canada Day, July 1st, 2010, Ontarians can not only celebrate the birth of their nation, they can also celebrate a new harmonized sales tax system that will pump up the coffers of our provincial government and empty out the pockets of taxpayers.
But don't worry people ... we have elected a compassionate and magnanimous crew down at Queen's Park. They've announced that over a two year period, you'll be receiving three rebate cheques that will total $1,000 as a hand up from your elected officials to help offset the costs you "might" incur due to the sales tax harmonization.
What, pray tell, might those extra costs that you "might" incur be on? That KFC Wrapper you pick up for lunch; your morning cup 'o joe at Timmy's; that newspaper you read; that vet bill you willingly pay for your beloved pet; your prescription drugs; the gas you put in your car; the oil or gas you have delivered to your home to keep you and your family warm; etc. etc.
$166 a year to drink coffee and eat snacks at work;
$156 a year to drive your car;
$72 a year extra to heat your home;
$55 a year to get your hair cut, go out and see a movie and send your clothes to the cleaners;
$33 a year to read The Star;
$50 a year to to prevent pregnancy (The Pill);
These are but a few that I've worked out as a starting point. As you can see, in year 1, we're already over $500 (remember the bribe the Liberals are giving us, that $1,000 rebate cheque spread over two years). As I said, this is only just a starting point and I've used very conservative figures like $20 a month for haircuts, $20 a month for dry cleaning and $10 a month for movies.
Thinking about selling your home? Add about $2,000 to your closing costs.
Thinking about buying a new one? In 2008, the Toronto Real Estate Board said that the average house price was about $404,000. If you were thinking about buying a newly built home for about that much (by the way, best of luck finding one for that price!) you would pay an additional $8,000 in taxes. If you had the gall to up the ante and buy a brand spanking new home for $500,000, instead of it costing you $500K that brand new home would cost you $540,000. In other words, you'd have to pay the full 8% PST, or an additional $40,000.
So tell me, why aren't you bowing down and scrapping your forehead off the floor at the feet of Dalton McGuinty et al thanking them so much for that extra $1,000 rebate cheque (which, by the way also is only for the first two years after implementation, after that its all gravy for the government)? I know my forehead will be clean, and come Oct. 2011 when the next provincial government election happens, I will remember this and remind as many other Ontario voters as I can, thank you very much.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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