Pay parking tax may drop with HST defeat

Possible seven per cent reduction at paid lots not yet certain

The demise of the harmonized sales tax may mean a seven-per-cent break for motorists who use Metro Vancouver pay parking lots – depending on what the province decides in the months ahead.

TransLink tripled its tax on pay parking to 21 per cent in January 2010 and the switch to the HST that summer charged 12 per cent on top.

The compounding effect means motorists currently pay an extra 35.5 per cent in tax at paid lots.

But the end of the HST may mean only the five per cent GST will apply on top of TransLink’s 21 per cent come the spring of 2013.

“There’s no doubt in my mind,” said Charles Gauthier, executive director of the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association.

“If we’re going back to the old system, I would imagine the PST doesn’t exist for pay parking.”

He said the government made it clear with the change to the HST that the province was handing its taxing authority over parking to TransLink, meaning there should be no scope for a reintroduction of a provincial tax.

If so, the province would lose the seven per cent provincial component of the HST it now receives – worth close to $20 million a year. That’s actually money the province never got to keep prior to the HST, because the PST was previously remitted to TransLink.

TransLink officials say they’ve asked the province what’s planned but received no answers yet.

A finance ministry spokesman said the issue isn’t decided, adding it’s one of numerous decisions the government faces in the months ahead as it prepares for the dismantling of the HST.

TransLink collected $58.4 million last year from its 21 per cent parking tax.

Prior to 2010, parking taxes totaled 12 per cent, with seven per cent collected by the province going to TransLink and another five per cent in GST going to Ottawa.

TransLink spent money setting up its own tax collection system after the province stopped collecting the provincial tax.

Gauthier said some downtown workers doubt any cut in taxes would actually be passed on to them by parking lot operators.

He also noted the higher taxes on pay parking in recent years have spurred many people to take transit or find other alternatives to driving downtown.

@jeffnagel

 

Related story:

Vancouver parking prices not world class yet

Just Posted

United voice calls for more senior services in Aldergrove

‘The people here deserve more’ says founder of the local Seniors Resource Fair

Aldergrove’s water park opens to public at discounted rates

Though the pool remains closed, the Township has decided to charge a toonie for admission

Fraser Valley pup trained in Aldergrove co-stars in A Dog’s Journey

Film premiers this weekend, starting Friday in Canadian theatres

Homeless woman unsuccessful in lawsuit against government

A Langley homeless woman tried to sue Victoria and Ottawa

Sea of purple showed support for Langley school’s ALS fundraiser

Students and staff were inspired to fundraise by the plight of a teacher living with ALS.

Jeep totalled, four young people in hospital, after single-vehicle crash in Surrey

Mounties have not ruled out any possible factors in what led to the overnight crash

Update: Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Kelowna RCMP interrogation video brings home reality in ‘visceral way’: former TRC chairman

Video of Mountie interrogating young Indigenous woman disclosing sexual abuse under fire

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Cloverdale Rodeo competition promises to be a ‘nail-biter’ this weekend

New challengers giving returning champions a run for their money

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Full-scale search underway for missing kayaker on Okanagan Lake

Kelowna Paddle Centre member Zygmunt Janiewicz, 71, failed to return from his ‘daily kayak’ on the lake

Most Read