Dear Editor:

By June 13th, Elections B.C. will start mailing ballots for the referendum about the Harmonized Sales Tax.

I have found that our politicians try to defend the existing new tax by misleading the public with unqualified statements, to justify the introduction of HST last year.

British Columbians responded very clearly, with an anti-HST petition of more than 70,000 signatures.

I am a local electrical contractor, with a yearly gross income (as an example) of $300,000. One third goes on supplies expenses and materials: $100,000. Two thirds go to labour: $200,000.

Before, I applied five per cent GST and seven per cent PST on materials, because that is what I paid at time of purchase. I received it back as Input Tax Credit. On my labour I applied only five per cent GST, which was set to the Canada Revenue Agency. Using the above $200,000 example that is $10,000.

With the combined tax I now have to charge my customers an additional seven per cent tax on my labour, which is $14,000, plus the original $10,000 (using the earlier $200,000 example) going to the Revenue Agency.

It is obviously another tax grab. In fact, lets say it, this is additional tax on the B.C. labour. I suppose it is common sense to cut my spending if Im running over my budget in my household. Our provincial government has a different approach. They would rather increase taxes.

My income dropped last year almost 80 per cent from the previous year. I wonder if the government employees had the same wage cuts. The province was given no time to recover from the recession before the new tax was introduced that killed construction activity in our region.

We depend here on the new housing projects and the Albertan oil dollars. With the new tax we are no more attractive to our neighbours. Those are my reasons to vote against the HST. in the upcoming referendum.

Daniel Bakos

Fairmont Hot Springs