The provincial government will reinstate the combined 12 per cent PST and GST tax system following the referendum decision by British Columbians to extinguish the HST in B.C., Finance Minister Kevin Falcon announced today.
An action plan has been established to guide the transition process and help ensure an effective and orderly transition from the HST to the PST plus GST system in British Columbia.
The PST will be reinstated at seven per cent with all permanent PST exemptions. The government may make some common-sense administrative improvements to streamline the PST.
“British Columbians have made their choice and we will honour that decision,” says Finance Minister Kevin Falcon.
“Now more than ever, government must provide British Columbians economic stability and focus our attention toward growing our economy to create jobs and balancing our budget in a time of global economic uncertainty.
“We will work as quickly as we responsibly can to return to the PST. We have always been clear that, as the independent panel found, dismantling the B.C. HST and returning to the PST will take time to do properly.
“I can assure British Columbians PST will not be applied to such items as restaurant meals, haircuts, bikes and gym memberships – just as it was before the HST was introduced in B.C.”
The transition period is expected to take a minimum of 18 months, consistent with the report of the independent panel on the HST. During this period, the provincial portion of the HST will remain in place at seven per cent. Eligible lower-income British Columbians will continue to receive the B.C. HST credit until the PST is re-implemented. The B.C. HST credit will then be replaced by the re-implemented PST credit.
During the transition period, the province will provide quarterly updates on the progress of returning to the PST.
For a complete breakdown of the HST referendum vote by electoral district, click here.