Status quo is best on HST referendum

Re: FightHST not linked to one political party, Letters, July 2.

To the Editor,

Re: FightHST not linked to one political party, Letters, July 2.

Missing from this and all other anti-HST discourse is any reference to the price that will be paid by B.C. taxpayers if the HST has to be rescinded.

Understandably, even if the anti-crowd had any idea of the price, it wouldn’t help their cause to reveal it.

Start with the $1.6 billion in transition funds we should have to pay back to the federal government. Since it’s tax money that belongs to the whole country, the feds would be negligent if they didn’t demand it back.

The provincial sales tax infrastructure would have to be re-established at an estimated cost in the hundreds of millions. A similar amount was spent to bring in the HST.

What does it cost to maintain two separate government bureaucracies to administer two taxes rather than one?

With B.C. still running a deficit, the loss of government revenue will have to be compensated for somehow. My guess is by raising income taxes which is a lot more expensive to deal with than a consumption tax.

Then there’s the costs of losing out on investment capital as businesses consider the higher cost of operating in B.C., not to mention what happens to the province’s reputation as a place to do business.

And, add to all of this the millions already incurred with things like recall initiatives.

It doesn’t take much reading of financial pages to conclude that any unthinking retrogression at this stage, while trying to cope with a deficit, has the makings of a disaster. I’ll vote for the status quo.

Jim Corder

Nanaimo