HST deadline extended 

Close of voting extended to August 5


The deadline for voting on the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) has been extended to August 5.

Originally slated for July 22, that date is now the deadline for requesting voting packages from Elections BC and you can mail in your ballot until August 5 at 4:30 p.m.

The order was issued by Craig James, acting Chief Electoral Officer out of concern over delays relating to the Canada Post strike that ended after the federal government legislated postal workers back to work on June 26.

The referendum asks voters a simple question: "Yes/No: Are you in favour of extinguishing the HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) and reinstating the PST (Provincial Sales Tax)?"

A "Yes" vote means that British Columbia will go back to the PST, a seven per cent tax that is levied on certain goods and isn't generally applied to any services. Some things will have a 12 per cent tax, other things will only have the five per cent Goods and Services Tax (GST) apply to it.

A "No" vote means that British Columbia will keep the HST, currently a 12 per cent tax that will be reduced to 11 per cent in 2012 and 10 per cent in 2014.

Voters in West Vancouver-Sea to Sky, which includes Whistler, Squamish and Pemberton, are expected to receive HST Referendum Voting Packages in the mail between June 30 and July 7.

To vote you must be a Canadian citizen, aged 18 years or older, on or before July 22, and a resident of British Columbia for at least six months immediately before July 22. You must be registered as a British Columbia voter and not disqualified by law from voting.



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