Return of PST can mean good deals
Like the wheels on the bicycles his family’s shop has been selling for almost 40 years, Neil Davies knows everything comes around again.
The most recent return is one he’s sure will make his customers smile.
On April 1, the Provincial Sales Tax is back, along with the GST, replacing the Harmonized Sales Tax that was implemented in 2010 and then ditched in a referendum in 2011. The good news for cyclists is the PST exemption on bikes, parts, safety equipment and repairs also returns.
Bike store owners were among the HST’s most vocal opponents, as it meant an extra seven per cent on purchases of bikes and gear. An online petition protesting the tax gathered thousands of signatures. A rally was organized at the provincial legislature in Victoria.
Shops like Davies’ Jubilee Cycles girded for a decline in business.
But Davies says that never happened.
That’s because most casual cyclists were never really aware of the sales tax exemption—in place in B.C. since 1981—in the first place. So when it disappeared, they didn’t miss it.
“Usually it’s a surprise to them,” says Davies.
One that left customers back then feeling a little better about their purchases as they got to keep a few more dollars in their wallet.
Davies says the return of the PST exemption is an opportunity for retailers and the provincial government to promote cycling’s health, fitness and environmental benefits while saving consumers money.
“It makes sense to exempt bikes,” says Davies. “They’re green and they’re good for your health.”
Meantime, Davies and many other cycling retailers are already offering select discounts equal to the PST exemption to keep the tills ringing in the weeks leading up to its official return.
• Some other items formerly exempt from PST and will be again as of April 1 include children’s clothing and footwear, books and magazines, insulation, smoke alarms, work-related safety equipment, general safety equipment like child car seats and portable fire extinguishers. Services like home renovations will also be exempt from the PST.