I got a very well organized and informative guide in the mail today called “What changes –and what doesn’t change– under the HST”, which may be one of the very few things I like about this new Ontario tax scheme.
Governments often use taxation to try and influence of buying behaviour of their citizens, so I thought I would take a look and see what behaviours the government is trying to change with the HST:
- Smelly Ontario – Apparently they want us to dry-clean less, with taxes going from 5 to 13%
- Drunk Ontario – Alcohol will be taxed at 13% instead of the old 17% (although they footnote that they will stop people from drinking so much with ‘other fees’)
- Lazy Ontario – Gym, athletic memberships, fitness trainers, hockey rink rentals, hall rentals, hunting licenses, fishing licenses and golf green fees will increase from 5 to 13%
- Ugly Ontario - Hair stylists, barbers and aesthetician services up to 13% from 5%
- Lawless Ontario - Legal fees will be taxed at 13% instead of 5%
- Cold (winter) and Hot (summer) Ontario – Electricity & heating bills to go from 5 to 13% tax
- Flooded and Electrocuted Ontario – Home visits by plumbers, electricians, etc. will go from 5-13% as will home renovations
- Digitally-divided Ontario – Internet access will now be taxed at 13% instead of 5%
- Wild Ontario – Landscaping and snow removal up to 13% from 5%
- Homebound Ontario – Hotel rooms (from 10%), taxis, campsites, domestic air, rail, boat and bus travel all up to 13% from 5%, as does fuel for your car, unfortunately you will have fewer magazines to read at home since subscription magazines also go from 5 to 13%
- Double-dipped Ontario - Remember that new car that you paid 13% tax on, well now the government makes 13% again –up from 5%– when you sell it used!
- Suburban & Condo Ontario – New homes over $400,000 will be taxed at 13% instead of 5%, and AFAIK can only be found in the suburbs or in condo dwellings. Real estate commissions will also be taxed more, at 13% instead of 5%.
- Scurvied Ontario – Vitamins up to 13% from 5%
- Stiff & sore Ontario - No reduction on Viagra tax, they are increasing taxes on massage therapy from 5 to 13%
- Entertained Ontario – Tickets for professional sporting events and movies will DROP from 15% to 13%.
- Alive Ontario - Death will cost you more, with funeral services taxed at 13%, up from 5%… sure as death and taxes.