With a referendum on the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) coming up on June 24, the province has an information guide on its way to voters.
The HST Voters Guide, to be mailed to every home in British Columbia, has important information on the referendum, according to a news release from the provincial government.
The referendum question will be asked specifically as follows: "Are you in favour of extinguishing the HST (harmonized sales tax) and reinstating the PST (provincial sales tax) in conjunction with the GST (goods and services tax)?"
The guide will provide statements provided directly by groups voting "yes" and "no" on the referendum. The guide will also contain a summary of the report of the Independent Panel on the HST, a position statement from the government and voting information from Elections BC.
The guide will not contain information about the recently announced HST policy change, which will see the HST reduced to 11 per cent on July 1, 2012 and to 10 per cent on July 1, 2014. The reductions will be accompanied by a rise in corporate income tax to 12 per cent from the current 10 per cent on January 1, 2012 and a delay in the elimination of a small business tax that was to take place next year.
The referendum asks voters to choose between the HST, a 12 per cent value-added tax to be leveled on all products and services, or to go back to the Provincial Sales Tax (PST), which is levied only on certain products and services, meaning some products are charged 12 per cent in taxes while others are only charged five per cent.