“I thought there was supposed to be no changes,” says a very frustrated Jacquie Perreault of the Kimberley Health Care Auxiliary.
Perrault is speaking of the fact that when the provincial taxation system returned to the PST, auxiliaries running thrift stores were surprised to find out that they now had to charge PST on everything but clothes.
“It’s all donated stuff,” Perrault said. “Now we have to charge PST.”
Thrift stores never had to charge PST in the past, nor did they pay HST.
And it is causing real problems at both the Kimberley and Marysville thrift stores.
“It’s not just that there is more accounting work,” Perrault said. “We’re all volunteers, older volunteers.
“It’s stressful for our volunteers to try to remember what is taxable, and how to use the till to put the tax in. It’s just been horrendous. We don’t understand and trying to get some of the older ladies to understand has been hard. Some are ready to quit and we need our volunteers. Even our customers cannot believe it.”
The Kimberley Health Care Auxiliary has written the BC Hospital Auxiliary but has not yet received a response. They have also contacted MLA Norm Macdonald.
“Clearly the promise the BC Liberals made to take things back to the way they were with the PST is a promise they have not kept,” Macdonald said.
Macdonald said that despite time scrutinizing the bill that returned the PST some of the differences are not coming to light until now.
“These things show up over time and this is one circumstance. But this one is particularly frustrating because it is primarily impacting volunteers. It makes the good work they are doing unnecessarily complicated. Why would the government want to undermine the good work of a charity? It’s an odd choice.”
Macdonald says he will pursue the matter through the Minister to try to set things right.
“If the system works the way it is supposed to this will be resolved quickly,” he said.