COBOURG – Ontario PC party leader Tim Hudak wants the harmonized sales tax (HST) stopped. He is travelling around the province to get the word out on how it’ll affect everyone in the province.
"Just when we thought Dalton McGuinty couldn't make things any harder for Ontario families, he is going to hike your taxes again with the DST — the Dalton Sales Tax," Hudak said in a stop in Cobourg Friday morning.
The Dalton Sales Tax means an extra 8% tax on dozens of items, he says.
"It will cost more to fill up your car. It will cost more to heat your home. It will cost more for your Internet and cell phone. It will cost more to rent an apartment or buy a new home," said Hudak in an interview outside Memorial Arena.
He says if the DST comes into effect next year, effective July 1 recreational facility rentals will increase by 8%.
"Thousands in minor sports will be affected," Hudak said. "A tax hike on Tim Hortons' coffee is bad enough, but a hike on the cost of playing hockey is bordering on un-Canadian. But that's what stands to happen should Dalton McGuinty unleash his latest tax grab on parents who already sacrifice so much for their children to play minor hockey, organized sports and recreational activities."
In Cobourg, Hudak says the approximately 450 minor hockey players will be affected to the tune of $17,600 per season on ice time alone.
"They’ll be forced to pass this increase on to the parents," said Hudak.
Adding on the 8% increase to the gas to go to and from the arena, another 8% onto coffee and snacks, plus another 8% on Internet services to check the team standings and schedules, Hudak says it's going to hit middle-class families the hardest.
And with McGuinty’s government stressing the importance of physical activity, Hudak says it’s going to accomplish the exact opposite.
"The more people hear about this tax grab, the more angry they get," said Hudak who says it’s important to get the word out and let people know about it.
"Contact MPP Lou Rinaldi and tell him to stop it," said Hudak. "Dalton McGuinty has stuck his hand into the pocket of taxpayers deep enough and his latest tax grab needs to be stopped. Ontario families deserve a tax break, not a tax hike."
But Rinaldi says it's not another tax grab, in fact the single sales tax it is just one part of a comprehensive tax reform that will stimulate the economy and create jobs.
A business that claims its GST income and expenses will now be able to claim PST income and expenses the same way.
He said that if a business buys a car, they will pay PST on it now, but with the blended tax, they will be able to claim the PST paid and be refunded the additional expense. The same applies for farmers who purchase equipment.
Currently farmers are tax-exempt but will now have to pay the tax upfront and apply for the rebate.
They are also eliminating the small business tax surcharge and are lowering the small business corporate tax by 1%, he says.
Personal income tax is also affected. For instance, Rinaldi says that someone in the lower tax bracket making $36,000 per year would see a reduction and save 1% or $360.
Lower income people who currently qualify for the GST rebate would also qualify for a PST rebate.
"A family of four could qualify for over $1,000 per year," said Rinaldi. "The same rules apply as the GST."
Another part of the tax reform is the up to $1,100 child benefit that was introduced in July, that he says was never in Ontario before.
In regards to seniors, his government introduced a property tax rebate of $250 that would now be going to $500 for households bringing in less than $55,000, he says.
"At the end of the day, 93% of Ontarians will pay less income tax," said Rinaldi. "And that doesn’t include the one-time $1,000 cheques that will be going out next year."
He says there are going to be some items that are going to be higher, but they are creating a climate to create new jobs.
"Ontario is just catching up to what much of the rest of the world is doing," said Rinaldi, adding that most of the other provinces in Canada are either already using a blended tax or looking at it.