(Aug. 6/09) In late July, the British Columbia government announced it will follow in Ontario’s footsteps and introduce a harmonized sales tax (HST) beginning July 1, 2010. This leaves only Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Prince Edward Island without a harmonized sales tax.
As recently as June 2009 the Saskatchewan government said it is not interested in harmonizing provincial and federal sales taxes, as the HST will mean a $400-million annual increase in sales taxes for consumers. Although the province recognizes the negative impact of harmonization, the federal government and other business groups continue to pressure Saskatchewan to harmonize.
What would the HST mean for foodservice operators in Saskatchewan? Simply put, it would have a devastating impact for the province’s 2,000 restaurants, bars and caterers. Here’s why:
What CRFA is doing for you
CRFA has heard from Premier Brad Wall and Finance Minister Rod Gantefoer that they are not interested in a harmonized tax at this time. In light of the British Columbia and Ontario announcements, and the lack of industry consultation that preceded them, we are working to meet personally with Premier Wall to explain the impact harmonization would have on Saskatchewan’s 2,000 foodservice establishments and the 32,500 people they employ.
CRFA has also launched an industry petition to demonstrate the industry’s opposition to the HST in Saskatchewan.