07/01/2013 01:11 EDT | Updated 08/31/2013 05:12 EDT

Manitoba's PST Goes Up To 8% Today


Manitobans are having to pay a little more for most things today, as the provincial sales tax has gone up from seven to eight per cent.

The PST increase has been controversial since Greg Selinger's NDP government announced it in the budget in April.

The government has said revenues from the increase will fund infrastructure across the province, including roads, hospitals and flood-prevention structures.

Some people have rushed out to make big-ticket purchases, like a new truck, just before the tax went up.

Late last week, dozens of people — including many critics of the proposed tax hike — voiced their opinions at the first of several public hearings at the legislature.

The standing committee on social and economic development is seeking public input on Bill 20, which would allow the government to raise the PST without having to hold a referendum.

The hearings resume on Tuesday evening and will run through this week.

Even though the public hearings are still going on, provincial officials said the tax hike would go ahead as scheduled.

The government sent notices to businesses across Manitoba stating, "Vendors are expected to charge and collect at the new rate July 1."

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