For years now BC consumers have enjoyed an exemption to the provincial social service tax – the PST. As an alternative form of transportation, bicycles, replacement parts, service, and even rentals were deemed worthy of exemption status, with the goal of increasing the use of a machine that is both non-polluting and good for you. With the BC government’s latest tax-grab this all comes to an end July 1, 2010.
The government is trying to spin this as good for the consumer, claiming prices will come down as business’s costs are lowered, and while that may be true for some products, the fact remains that a lot of things you never paid PST on will now be taxed an additional 7%. In addition to the bike industry, you will now pay extra for such luxuries as safety equipment (including your kid’s helmet), and even avi transceivers and probes, medicines, and alternative energy products like solar panels. ‘Cause we wouldn’t want people to get out of their cars and use solar power or anything.
If you like to ride a lot, this is going to cost you. If you would like to express your feelings on this matter you can contact our MLA at this address:
Here are some other zeros you can contact:
Minister of Tourism: email@example.com
Minister of Transportation: firstname.lastname@example.org
Minister of Climate Action: email@example.com
Minister of Healthy Living and Sport: firstname.lastname@example.org – who should be embarrassed!
Minister of Environment: email@example.com
There is one other option, assuming that our provincial government is unresponsive (gee, do ya think?): persueing a federal GST exemption for bikes. Vancouver-Quadra MP Joyce Murray has introduced bill C-572 to exempt bikes from the GST, which should (I think) remove them from sales taxes altogether. It’s a private member’s bill, so it is unlikely to pass, but stranger things have happened. C-572 will require support from all sides of the house, so contact your local MP and let them know that bikes should be exempted from sales tax.
Our Sea-to-Sky MP is John Weston, and you can contact him here: