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Starting July 1st we will see the introduction of the Harmonized Sales Tax in Ontario. The 13% HST combines the 5% GST along with 8% PST that will be collected by the federal government.

I went on line www.cra-arc.gc.ca to download the nine pages of information pertaining to the new regulations. The RST (Retail Sales Tax) will disappear to be replaced by the new HST.

Basic groceries ie. dairy, meat, vegetables, canned goods are still exempt. Electricity, natural gas, oil will now cost you 13% ( 5% GST plus the 8% HST) to heat your home.

Internet services will have an additional 8% added to your monthly bill. Taxi, camping site, domestic air, rail and bus travel in Ontario will have 13% added on to your tab.

Magazine subscriptions, home renovations, private resale of vehicles, gasoline/diesel fuel will cost you 13%. Massage therapy/vitamins will cost you 8% more to try and stay healthy.

Keeping fit is going to cost us all more: gym and athletic memberships now will include the HST charges. Ballet, Karate, hockey, arena rentals, soccer lessons etc for our children will now cost us parents 8% more to have our children involved.

Getting your hair cut at your favourite barber/hair stylist is going have the HST added on.

You canít avoid the tax by dying. I canít believe it but funeral services will be taxed with the GST and HST. Not to worry, the government has decided not to tax prepared food under $4.00. McDonaldís and Tim Hortonís are still exempt.

Our First Nation people who live on the reserves in the past were exempt from paying the Ontario Retail Sales Tax. The government was warned that if they forced the HST on our First Nation people that they would object possibly shutting down highways/ railways that passed through the reserves. The government blinked and the First Native People are exempt from paying the eight percent provincial tax.

We just received our receipt for our YMCA memberships dues for 2009/10. They wanted to apologize for any inconvenience the new HST tax may cause.

My Interest Inventory test provider from Edmonton Alberta reminded me that as of July 1st my test material is increasing with the HST. Oh yea, Alberta has no provincial sales tax; only the 5% GST charged by the federal government.

Who wins/loses with the Harmonized Sales Tax. I love the oxymoron of any suggestion that increasing our cost of living (taxes) will bring us harmony. Those corporations who are able to deduct the cost of the HST in their supplies will do well. The poor as usual will take the hit when they have to pay more from their pay checks to provide utilities for their homes. Purchasing adequate good food/vitamins to nourish your family will be hard for those on fixed incomes. They will have to try and prioritize their needs to stay warm in the winter or feed their children. A very hard impossible choice.

Those who can least afford to be taxed pay the price.

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com