A group of small businessmen from the Fraser Valley say that the implementation of the HST in the province has been a benefit for all who work in and invest in the forestry industry.
At a press conference Tuesday morning at Tamlin International Homes’ office in Aldergrove, Jim Hackett, president of the Interior Lumber Association, said, “The 12% PST-GST was an inefficient, expensive system. The HST has made forestry more competitive and created new jobs. Going back to the PST will put our industry, our members’ job security and our province at risk.”
Paul Tabuchi, a co-owner of Tamlin, said that the savings from the HST were “re-invested in our business” and enabled Tamlin to bring in new health benefits for their workers.
Rob Mitchell, president of BW Creative Wood Industries Ltd., said the HST “has significantly reduced our administrative burden. The old system was much more cumbersome and more complex. We can now do it on-line.”
One of the biggest drawbacks of the PST was its complexity and inconsistency in the law’s interpretation, said Hans Baer of Wide Plank Hardwood.
“We were a victim of PST,” said Baer, noting that six years ago a PST auditor had told him not to charge the PST on certain items considered exempt from the tax.
“Then last year another PST auditor told us that was wrong, and we were made to pay $106,000 in back taxes and penalty,” said the chagrined Baer.
Aaron Moore of Brian Moore Log Homes agreed with Baer, noting that “PST audits being done right now show that they have been assessing customers differently. It’s an unfair application of tax that many customers don’t realize because it’s hidden.
“Tax laws should be simpler, like the HST is, and applied evenly to all consumers,” said Moore.