Your money, well spent on convincing you to enjoy giving away your money. (Someone go look up the ad agency responsible for this campaign, squeeze a little, and corruption will likely come oozing out of that deal too). You’re paying to be propagandized and it’s all perfectly legal.
Flashback: Ont. deficit could linger for years: McGuinty | HST bill passes, 13% tax starts July 1 | Poll: HST equals Hated Sales Tax | Tories, Liberals, Bloc approve HST for Ontario and B.C. | Anti-HST protest at Ontario legislature spills onto Toronto streets | More HST debate fallout after Ontario Legislature sit-in | Liberals to support HST bill | Tory HST protest halts Ontario question period | Federal HST tax bill to be introduced, plays politics with law | Ontario Tories walk out to protest lack of hearings on HST | Contentious HST bill introduced in Ontario | Food under $4 to be HST-free, Ontario says | McGuinty says HST doubters exist in Liberal ranks | If passed, HST locked in through 2012 | New HST tax is fair, McGuinty says | Thousands rally against coming HST tax in BC | Flaherty offers taxpayer-funded bribe to adopt HST tax, holdout provinces demur | BC, like Ontario, moves to harmonize taxes | Ontario Liberals pressing to hide new ‘harmonized’ tax in prices | Ontario to merge GST, PST in ‘harmonized’ tax hike | EU approves free-trade talks with Canada | Canada expects EU free-trade talks soon: Stockwell Day | Harper, Sarkozy vow to work toward Canada-EU deal | CD Howe Institute backs Canada-EU deal, deep integration | Towards a new world order: Canada-EU trade proposal rivals scope of NAFTA
The Canadian Press
February 8, 2010
Ontario’s controversial move to harmonize sales taxes will be part of a new $1.6-million government ad campaign that’s poised to hit newsstands on Thursday.
The print ads, which highlight an income tax cut that took effect Jan. 1, will invite readers to “take a closer look at Ontario’s new tax package” by visiting a government website.
More than 400,000 people have visited the website, which will help residents figure out how the tax changes will affect them and their businesses, Revenue Minister John Wilkinson said Monday in announcing the campaign.
“This is the largest tax reform in over 40 years,” he said during a Liberal caucus retreat in downtown Ottawa.
“So it’s really important for people to make sure that there’s a source of information that they can go to get the facts.”
There is “misinformation out there” about harmonizing the eight per cent provincial sales tax with the five per cent federal GST next July, Wilkinson added.
Ontario’s opposition parties are bitterly opposed to the HST, saying it will hurt people who are already struggling during the economic downturn.
Tax harmonization will increase the cost of many items that were previously exempt from the provincial levy, from gasoline to internet bills, haircuts and real estate fees.
Ads above board, say Liberals
Wilkinson said the ads were approved by auditor general Jim McCarter, ending months of speculation that the Liberals might opt to pay for the ads with party funds to circumvent Ontario’s strict rules on government advertising.
The Liberals put the rules in place after taking office in 2003 to curb what they described as abuse of taxpayers’ money on partisan ads by the previous Conservative government.
“We’ve been working very closely with his office to ensure that the ads meet both the intent and the spirit of the laws, and so we’re very proud of them,” Wilkinson said.
Apart from a magnifying glass that draws attention to the income tax cut, the ad contains little imagery or information on the tax changes that passed in the legislature in December.
“Visit ontario.ca/taxchange to see how the personal income tax changes affect you,” the ad states. “And find out more about all of the tax changes including the harmonized sales tax [HST].”
There are no plans yet to expand the ad campaign to television and radio spots, Wilkinson said.
Progressive Conservative Lisa McLeod wasn’t satisfied with Wilkinson’s explanation, calling the ads another broken promise that just “adds insult to injury” by costing taxpayers more money.
“He just flip-flopped again on his promise to ban political advertising,” she said.
“He is hard-wired to tax and spend, and with the HST ads, he’s managing to do both.”
The New Democrats echoed that frustration, arguing that all the information in the ads could have been distributed through public hearings.
“Coincidence of coincidence, [the ad campaign] starts now and it finishes one or two days after two key byelections in eastern Ontario,” said NDP finance critic Michael Prue.
“He’s doing it for crass and pure political reasons.”
Like Ontario, British Columbia will also harmonize its PST with the GST on July 1, something New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador have already done. Quebec is also considering a move towards full sales tax harmonization.
Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, who has long advocated for tax harmonization, agreed to kick in $4.3 billion to Ontario and $1.6 billion to B.C. in a deal struck last year.
Much of the federal cash going to Ontario will be used to fund government cheques of up to $1,000 for families and $300 for individuals in the first year of the HST to offset the pain.
Source | See also under Taxation: The US budget: Barack Obama’s $3.8 trillion red ink blueprint | Global Bank Insurance Levy Wins Support over Transaction Tax at Davos | Cellphone fines up to $500 for Ont. drivers start Monday | IMF warns against retreat from stimulus spending | Terence Corcoran: Ontario puts $10B in the wind | EU urged to adopt bank supertax | Flaherty’s economic plan blasted as leading to taxation or cuts | Obama ponders bank transaction levy to recoup bailout shortfalls | Running a red light? It’ll cost you big time now | Ont. deficit could linger for years: McGuinty | French Carbon Tax Law Struck Down | Copenhagen Accord Establishes Global Government Framework | Final Copenhagen Text Includes Global Transaction Tax | Lower tax haul helps widen Ottawa deficit, $56.2B shortfall expected | EU calls for tax on bank transactions | HST bill passes, 13% tax starts July 1 | Poll: HST equals Hated Sales Tax | Taibbi: Obama’s sellout to Wall Street creates ‘permanent bailout’ | Tories, Liberals, Bloc approve HST for Ontario and B.C. | Anti-HST protest at Ontario legislature spills onto Toronto streets | More HST debate fallout after Ontario Legislature sit-in | Bombshell UN Climate Documents Reveal Planned “End Run” Around National Sovereignty | Liberals to support HST bill | Tory HST protest halts Ontario question period | UK: Brown takes campaign for Tobin tax to Commonwealth | Federal HST tax bill to be introduced, plays politics with law | Ontario Tories walk out to protest lack of hearings on HST | Contentious HST bill introduced in Ontario | Leaked G20 Documents Shed Light on Global Carbon Tax | Food under $4 to be HST-free, Ontario says | GPS Tracked Road Tolls Back On Agenda for Toronto Metrolinx | Report suggests road tolls, parking and fuel taxes for GTA | Everyone in Britain could be given a personal ‘carbon allowance’ | Czech President: Copenhagen to be ‘Largest tax increase in world history’ | McGuinty says HST doubters exist in Liberal ranks | Copenhagen’s Plans for a New ‘Government’ are Scary | UK: Secret Plan for Euro Income Tax | Copenhagen, carbon, and the global corporate agenda | Electronic health is the boondoggle of boondoggles | IMF chief wants global bank tax | Canadian taxpayers on hook for any H1N1 vaccine damages | Ontario deficit $2.5B worse than expected due to drop in corporate tax | Ont. gives green energy price guarantee | If passed, HST locked in through 2012 | New HST tax is fair, McGuinty says | Thousands rally against coming HST tax in BC | Sarkozy launches carbon tax to help ’save the human race’ | Quebec’s photo radar starts ticketing | Flaherty offers taxpayer-funded bribe to adopt HST tax, holdout provinces demur | BC, like Ontario, moves to harmonize taxes | Vancouver kicks off quest for ways to fund transportation system | Cost Of US Bailout Hits A Whopping $24 Trillion Dollars | Ontario to subsidize electric cars as auto-sector boost | G8 Summit: Rich nations to pay green tab | G8 leaders see no early end to stimulus | Climate Cops To Fine “Wasteful” Homeowners & Businesses | Goldman Sachs: The Great American Bubble Machine | US cities may have to be bulldozed in order to survive | Ontario Liberals pressing to hide new ‘harmonized’ tax in prices | Ontario unveils cap-and-trade legislation | Economic stabilization may rely on carbon economy, economist says | ‘Smart meters’ set to boost prices, track your power consumption by time of day in Toronto | GM deal likely involves bigger sacrifices: McGuinty | With interest rates at zero, Fed looks at going negative | Revenue Canada destroys man’s life, refuses to pay for million-dollar mistake | NRTEE Carbon Market Panel is ‘Round Table on Socialist Planning’ | Climate panel presses for federal cap-and-trade system | Which Banks Will Rule? | Carbon tax resurfaces in Liberal policy proposal | Canada Revenue Agency employees arrested in corruption probe | Obama, Gore, tied to Chicago carbon exchange | Ontario to merge GST, PST in ‘harmonized’ tax hike | Ottawa considering aid for private broadcasters | Barclays bank gags Guardian newspaper over tax avoidance leaks | UK Central Bank begins using ‘new’ money | NY Times: Mileage Tax Would ‘Track Where Motorists Have Been’ | Stimulus needed now, Bank of Canada says | Terence Corcoran: Ontario’s green energy plan sneaks in feed-in taxes | Obama outlines ‘hard choices’ budget | Cost of Afghan mission jumps to $11.3-billion | GM wants twice as much taxpayer’s money | Behemoth budget bill to be rammed through parliament unread | Obama signs stimulus bill | Obama takes heat for third cabinet appointee that hasn’t paid taxes | Tories seek extra $331-million for Afghan mission | Fed infrastructure money requires provincial spending | All maxed out? Budget measures would improve credit access | UK Slips New Garbage Bin Taxes into Climate Bill | UK: ‘Spy-in-sky’ trials get the go-ahead despite Government promise to scrap road-pricing plan | Oregon Governor Wants GPS-Tracked Vehicle Mileage Tax | GTA Transit plan needs taxation, ‘governance’ powers | Is road-tolls fix running out of gas? | Ontario raises minimum price for beer | Toronto council approves plastic bag charge, bottle ban | Maybe we should look at Zimbabwe before trying to print our way out of a money crisis | Deficits ‘essential,’ Harper says | Road tolls called ‘inevitable’ | Now the consumer crunch: falling credit limits, rising interest rates | Federal government stages another retreat on road tolls | Federal Road Toll Meeting Sponsorship Kept Quiet Until After Election | Toronto Mayor David Miller hails new taxes on water, trash | New credit cards may shift unauthorized-transaction liabilities to the holder | The Bush gang’s parting gift: a final, frantic looting of public wealth | Is an Internet tax coming? | Metrolinx considering road tolls after all | Bailout is “petty cash”, Inflation is the Federal Reserve’s real crime | Toronto Mayor delays garbage tax grab for twelve months | Garbage bin fee hike possible before new RFID bins even hit the kerb | Next Federal Reserve bank bailout round could cost taxpayers 1$ Trillion Dollars | Central banks continue inflating global economy | Central Banks Move to Transfer Wealth from Taxpayers to Banks | For Toronto, road tolls, fees ‘on the menu’ | B.C. carbon tax kicks in on Canada Day | Road tolls, a bitter pill that works | Microchip bin tax scheme to go ahead despite failures | Feds Stealing from UI fund, Layton says | Time has come to put ‘price on waste and pollution’: Dion | Toronto Residents Furious Over RFID Garbage Bins | Pay-As-You-Drive Car Insurance | Is it time for toll roads? | Metrolinx Proposes Satellite Vehicle Tracking for Road Tolls