Reading Ian MacLeod’s letter last week was like watching a contortionist—fascinating, but repulsive [Letters, June 16–23]. He ties himself in knots trying to be simultaneously for and against taxes, depending on which government brought them in. Corporate taxes in the ’90s—boo! HST today—hurray!
MacLeod wants us to believe corporations should get a free pass because “only people can pay taxes.” Strange creatures, these corporations. They’re regarded by the law as having the status of persons, so why should they not pay taxes as people do?
We’re told raising corporate taxes only leads to higher prices, lower wages, and job losses. The problem is, corporate tax rates have fallen 40 percent over the last 25 years with no sign of the rising wages, increased employment, or lower prices MacLeod’s argument would lead us to expect in return. What we’ve seen instead is an increasing concentration of wealth.
Corporations exist to funnel money to their shareholders through dividends and capital gains. And who are those shareholders? The wealthiest 10 percent of households hold more than 80 percent of stocks and mutual funds. So let’s at least recognize this shell game for what it is. Cutting corporate taxes is nothing more than a tax cut targeted to the wealthy.
The provincial Liberals cut corporate taxes while bringing in the HST: tax cuts for the 10 percent funded by tax increases on everyone else. If that’s your policy position, fine. But do try to be honest about it.
> Michael Brockington / Vancouver
The HST is helping my Burnaby production-supply company stay in business and continue employing a dozen people. Whether a movie or commercial shoot is looking for makeup, camera supplies, a smoke machine, or fake snow, we can help them. When the HST came into effect, we experienced a substantial increase in business, as filmmakers are choosing to work in B.C. If the HST were to be replaced by the 12 percent PST-GST, I would estimate that 20 percent of my business would disappear, and that could mean job losses.
I’m voting No to keep the HST and to keep B.C.’s film and TV industry strong.
> Mike Kaerne / president and general manager, HollyNorth Production Supplies