Extra half point transit sales tax would apply on alcohol, used cars: province

Finance ministry says referendum Yes would 0.5 per cent to other provincial sales taxes besides the seven per cent PST

A proposed 0.5 per cent tax on transit would also apply to alcohol and private vehicle sales

Finance ministry officials say the proposed 0.5 per cent tax for transit will also apply on alcohol and private vehicle sales if the mail-in referendum passes this spring.

Although the province has said it intends to apply the new Congestion Improvement Tax to most of what is covered under the provincial sales tax, there’s been confusion over exactly that means.

One source of doubt is what the province considers to be a provincial sales tax – just the seven per cent PST or also the 10 per cent alcohol tax and the 12 per cent private vehicle sales tax.

A ministry spokesman said Wednesday the government also views both as provincial sales taxes and the extra half point would apply, raising the alcohol tax to 10.5 per cent in Metro and requiring private car sellers to add 12.5 per cent.

B.C. Restaurant and Foodservices Association president Ian Tostenson said the extra tax would be in addition to the five per cent GST charged on liquor sold in restaurants and bars.

“I don’t think we need a 15.5 per cent liquor tax in this province,” he said.

Many hospitality industry employees rely on transit to get to work, Tostenson said, but added the association of restaurants and bars hasn’t taken a referendum stand yet.

“We haven’t considered if we’re coming out as an industry to support or not support it. We’d like to see way more detail.”

The 12 per cent private vehicle sales tax was created after the harmonized sales tax was repealed to ensure equal treatment of private and dealer transactions, and to prevent a surge of curbers selling privately with little consumer protection.

The transit sales tax is also expected to apply on new vehicles sold at Metro dealerships.

New Car Dealers Association of B.C. CEO Blair Qualey has been pushing for an exemption but a ministry spokesman said that would reduce the expected $250 million a year to be generated by the tax for transit expansion.

The province has previously indicated the new tax may also be charged on new vehicles that are bought outside the region but end up registered in Metro, but it has yet to confirm that or explain how it would work.

Qualey said the car dealers association has not yet taken a position on the referendum.

“We’re in support of good road, bridge and transportation infrastructure, including public transit,” he said. “If cars and trucks were excluded we’d be all over it.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Maple Ridge mom wants justice on two-year anniversary of daughter’s death

Megan Kinnee, 19, died July 13, 2018 after motorcycle crash in Abbotsford

Maple Ridge neighbourhood rallies together for Saturday garage sale

Event aimed to bring Albion residents together – but not too close – while the financially strapped

Farmers market returns to downtown Maple Ridge

Next Saturday, July 18 people can shop at the newly reconfigured market in Memorial Peace Park

Ridge Meadows RCMP catch three more impaired drivers overnight

Local Mounties served 80 impaired driving infractions in June

Cocooning pays dividends for local environmental group

A butterfly adoption program helps keep the Alouette River Management Society in Maple Ridge afloat

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

‘Made in the Cowichan Valley’ coming to a wine bottle near you

Cowichan Valley has the honour of being the first sub-GI outside of the Okanagan

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

National Kitten Day aka the ‘purrfect’ day to foster a new friend

July 10 marks National Kitten Day, a special day to celebrate all things kittens

Most Read