04/23/2013 01:04 EDT | Updated 06/23/2013 05:12 EDT

Surrey Mayor Wants $3M Of Old PST Exemptions Back


The Mayor of Surrey says the return to the Provincial Sales Tax is costing her city, and other cities, millions of dollars, and she wants the province to make up the difference.

Dianne Watts says there used to be a tax exemption for municipal capital projects when the PST was originally applied. That exemption continued under the Harmonized Sales Tax — which was introduced in 2009 and was voted out in a 2011 referendum — but Watts says it's gone with the new PST , and she wants it back.

"There were some exemptions for municipalities depending on different categories," she said. "But going back [from HST], we get hit with [tax on] the materials, and a lot of the sub-trades get hit as well."

Watts says allowances have been made for upcoming projects, but she says the city is out about $3 million for projects that began while the HST was in place.

B.C. Liberal Leader Christy Clark is not in favour of having the B.C. government reimburse those funds.

"People made a decision, and they voted and I said I was going to respect everybody's vote... there will be no special deals," Clark told CBC's Early Edition Tuesday.

"I know that for different levels of government and different businesses there were costs involved in that, [but] we're not going to go back to it."

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