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

Barn fire impacting traffic on 168th Street in Surrey

One lane will be closed from 40th Avenue and 48th Avenue until approximately 10 a.m., police say

Rally planned at Surrey Tim Hortons today

Protests come after two Ontario franchise owners imposed cuts following minimum wage increase

Langley Youth Hub delayed, but on track to open

The youth center and shelter is now nearing completion.

Surrey talk by a woman Oprah calls an ‘astonishingly gifted intuitive’

Canadian tour brings Carolyn Myss to Bell theatre in February

VIDEO: North Delta artist’s new project one part picture book, one part play mat

Come Drive With Me is Heidi Boomer’s first book, and a sequel is already in the works

FURRY FRIDAY: Surrey animal shelter’s adoptee of the week has sad back story

Meet Eclipse, this week’s featured animal currently at Surrey Animal Resource Centre

Christopher Garnier appealing murder conviction in death of off-duty cop

Jury found Garnier guilty in December, rejecting his claim she died accidentally during rough sex

Transportation watchdog must revisit air passenger obesity complaint

Canadian Transportation Agency must take new look at Gabor Lukacs’ complaint against Delta Air Lines

Gas plants verdict coming down today; ex-premier’s top aides to learn fate

Verdict to be delivered on senior staff to former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty

5 to start your day

Smoking ban on BC Ferries starts Monday, IHIT uses new strategy in murder investigation and more

Police investigating after body found in East Vancouver

The body was discovered in a parked vehicle

Rock slide closes Hwy. 1 south of Ashcroft until Friday afternoon

A rock slide Thursday afternoon near Spences Bridge closed the highway in both directions

WestJet appeals lost bid to scrap harassment lawsuit

Airline argues judge was wrong to have dismissed the company’s application to strike the legal action

Can U.S. border guards search your phone? Yes, and here’s how

Secretary of homeland security explains a new policy that let’s border guards check phones

Most Read