BRITISH COLUMBIA

BC PST Return Means More Expensive Beer, Cheaper Bikes

03/25/2013 02:58 EDT | Updated 03/25/2013 03:12 EDT
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The return of the Provincial Sales Tax (PST) in B.C. will hurt beer drinkers' wallets, but provide some relief at the till for cyclists.

B.C. is returning to the PST of seven per cent on April 1 after the province voted down the 12 per cent Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) in a referendum.

Beer will cost three per cent more under the new system because the return to PST also means reverting back to B.C.'s 10 per cent liquor tax. That means the tax on beer will be three per cent more than it is under HST, The Province reported.

But that change isn't bad news for everyone in the food service industry. Matt Brear, general manager of the St. Regis Bar and Grill doesn't anticipate the tax hike on beer will hurt business.

The PST applies to most goods or services, on top of the five per cent federal Goods and Services Tax (GST). But there are several exemptions such as bikes, kids' clothing and restaurant meals, according to the provincial government.

That means you'll save about $35 on a $500 bike, and a $100 dinner for two will save you all of $7.

Confusion remains for a number of B.C. businesses over whether or not they need to get a PST number, the North Shore News reported.

The North Vancouver Chamber of Commerce is fielding inquiries from businesses every day, although spokeswoman Louise Ranger says the province has been very helpful at keeping them informed.

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