(Source: The Canadian Press)
Touted as a panacea for Ontario’s ailing economy but condemned by others as the biggest cash grab in the province’s history, the harmonized sales tax will likely have more than a few people scratching their heads when it takes effect next July.
Merging the eight per cent Ontario sales tax with the five per cent federal GST will increase the cost of many items that were previously exempt from the provincial levy: from gasoline to Internet bills, haircuts and real estate fees.
It’s also part of a larger package that includes one-time relief cheques, new credits and income tax cuts, which makes the math more complicated. So who will be the winners and losers?
Read Maria Babbage’s full article “Cure-all or cash grab? Ontario rings in new year with HST consumer confusion” in the Canadian Press (December 27, 2009).