Border towns, like Fort St. John, could see a change in customers as the HST has come into effect in B.C. with people going to Alberta to shop more often.
The HST came into effect in B.C. on July 1, increasing certain products that would only have been charged GST previously to include both GST and PST.
Since Alberta still has only GST and no PST on products, Energeticcity.ca put up a poll on Thursday, asking “With the HST, will you be making more shopping trips to Alberta?" With over 250 votes as of Friday morning, 83 % of respondents answered yes.
However, at least two business owners in Fort St. John haven’t seen much of a change in their clientele numbers and say they don’t expect to see a change.
Darren Thiel is the owner of Backcountry, a store that sells camping and hunting equipment. He says the majority of the products the store sells already had both GST and PST applied to it before the HST came into effect.
He says the only items he has had complaints from customers about are hunting and fishing licenses because they now have the added PST through the combined tax. The licenses, however, are for items that cannot be obtained by going to Alberta.
Brad Small, owner of the Sears outlet in the city says he is not expecting much of a change in the number of people shopping at the store since items in the store are still being taxed at the same rate as before.
To vote in the poll click here.
To view what items are taxable and what hasn’t changed under the HST, see below.