(Feb. 10/15) If you live in Metro Vancouver, you will receive a mail-in ballot after March 16 asking: “Do you support a one half percentage point (0.5%) increase to the Provincial Sales Tax in Metro Vancouver, dedicated to the Mayor’s Transportation and Transit Plan with independent audits and public reporting?” You must return the ballot by May 29.
The ‘yes’ side
The Vancouver Board of Trade, a coalition of business organizations, and a coalition of unions are pushing for a ‘yes’ vote.
The ‘no’ side
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is leading the charge against the idea.
Where we stand
Restaurants Canada is neutral on this subject as restaurant meals are PST-exempt. However, it is unclear if the 0.5 per cent increase, if voted in, will apply to the 10 per cent PST on liquor. We are fighting to exempt the liquor tax from any increase, as it is already higher than the seven-per cent PST base rate. Upping the liquor tax in Metro Vancouver also conflicts with the province’s policy that residents should be able to buy liquor at the same price at all BC Liquor stores.