Sheridan says don't blame parking rates on HST

Ryan Ross
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Any increases in parking rates in Charlottetown can't be blamed on the harmonized sales tax, says Finance Minister Wes Sheridan.

Any increases in parking rates in Charlottetown can't be blamed on the harmonized sales tax, says Finance Minister Wes Sheridan.

Sheridan was responding to the city's recent decision to increase its parking fees because HST will be charged on the rates.

But Sheridan said municipalities will be compensated for the HST and the options were to either do so through a rebate or inside a new funding formula.

"After months of discussion and talk with the Federation of Municipalities, the federation has asked us to it inside the funding formula," he said.

Charlottetown city council recently passed a resolution to increase parking rates at its parkades and on parking metres.

The monthly rates at the three parkades vary, but the cost of parking at a metre will be going up from $1 per hour to $1.25.

Sheridan said the province will soon release a draft of the new Municipalities Act to the municipalities.

"They have been partnering with us for over two years putting it together," he said.

A separate committee has been working on a municipal funding agreement to go along with the new act, Sheridan said.

"Inside that act is where the municipalities would like to be compensated for the harmonization."

Sheridan said that funding could offset the HST's impact on the City of Charlottetown.

"If they're going to raise their rates inside a parkade or at the parking metres it's not going to be because of harmonization," he said.

Organizations: Federation of Municipalities

Geographic location: Charlottetown

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Recent comments

  • Mary W
    November 28, 2012 - 20:25

    Won't affect me, I don't shop downtown anyway.....I shop off Island and mostly at COSTCO.....they have fabulously great deals.

  • Death by spin?
    November 27, 2012 - 14:20

    "Harmonization of taxes." "Alignment of roads." "Corporate benefits for the common Islander." " Arms-length political appointments." "Progressive health cuts." Ghizological spinology? If it doesn't make us laugh, we're bound to cry.

  • NewMath
    November 27, 2012 - 13:46

    I'm still trying to get my head around how a 14% HST translates to a 25% increase in hourly parking. Ch'town City Council is even more bone-headed than the provincial gov't.

    • Good Point
      November 27, 2012 - 15:55

      The answer is probably because the meters can't take dimes and cents? But you do raise an interesting question. Wonder how many other products and services will be rounded up to accommodate the HST? I guess this all adds up to the benefits Mr. Wes and Mr.Robert say will help Islanders . . .

  • Finance Minister Absolutely Correct
    November 27, 2012 - 08:54

    The Finance Minister is absolutely and unequivocally correct. Any increases in parking rates (or any other product or service) in Charlottetown (or PEI) can't be blamed on the harmonized sales tax. However, it can be blamed on Finance Minister Wes Sheridan and Premier Robert Ghiz. We've been planb'd again . . . and for most Islanders, it hurts like hell.

  • WERESOSPINELESS
    November 27, 2012 - 07:35

    Downtown is getting easier to ignore every year. Keep raising the prices, it makes no difference to me. I spent absolutely nothing downtown in the last year, with the exception of one restaurant. Outside the city center, I can park for free. Let the tourists have downtown. $80 a month to park in an unheated parkade in Charlottetown? Right, good luck with that.

  • WERESOSPINELESS
    November 27, 2012 - 07:28

    Downtown is getting easier to ignore every year. Keep raising the prices, it makes no difference to me. I spent absolutely nothing downtown in the last year, with the exception of one restaurant. Outside the city center, I can park for free. Let the tourists have downtown. $80 a month to park in an unheated parkade in Charlottetown? Right, good luck with that.

  • nitpicker
    November 27, 2012 - 06:12

    Anyone want to comment on the actual story? Why is it the the province says the city will be compensated yet the city says they must raise parking rates to recover the HST? This is a direct contradiction that could/should have been addressed in the story by calling the mayor for comment. Remember, this is a city that has been complaining for years about improving downtown business. Yet, if anything, they've made parking more restrictive, more expensive. The city needs to raise money just like any other administration, but why the direct contradiction in stories? Who's wrong?

  • Told you so
    November 26, 2012 - 22:42

    PEI vs BC - The proof is in the pudding. Just call us when you have had enough and we have experts to bring you back in from the cold - the political cold.

  • SG
    November 26, 2012 - 21:55

    Island Student: After the HST is Implemented in April wait six months and then let us know if you still feel HST is a good thing for PEI. Our Electric Expense will rise by 14%. I highly doubt our min. wage on PEI will increase. I doubt two years from now our Job Opportunites will have increased. However tax on non-food items will increase 14%, along with Vehicle Registration, Adult Clothing and Foot Wear, even used clothing, Many Services, etc. etc.

    • Pete
      November 27, 2012 - 08:02

      SG said "tax on non-food items will increase 14%". Yes, the tax on SOME non-food items will increase from 5% GST-only to 14% HST but not a full 14%. But the non-food items we already pay GST+PST taxes on (the majority of non-food items we buy) will DECREASE from 15.5% GST/PST to 14% HST. Saying that the tax on all non-food items will increase 14% is just an example of the misinformation about HST floating around.

  • BigFrog
    November 26, 2012 - 21:46

    It's all set! As soon as the HST is implemented they will do the same thing as they did in Nova Scotia, raise it to 15 or 16%. If we could pay the 17.7% we were paying before with GST/PST years ago, then we should be able to pay more down the road. What an opportunity to really put the screws to the middle class. Mark my words, it is coming!

    • Pete
      November 27, 2012 - 08:07

      The 1% increase in the HST rate was a short term measure to deal with debt. It is scheduled to decrease to 13% in 2014.

  • Joe Blow
    November 26, 2012 - 19:24

    Island Student....its time for you to actually do some homework on HST and stop quoting Sheridan!!! If you done some homework on HST...you'd know that it is a negative thing for all people on PEI. Businesses make enough money and shouldn't need tax breaks if they run their businesses properly. Islanders are having a hard enough time making ends meet and paying 9% more for most common household items certainly isn't going to make things easier!! Go do some homework there Island Student....you still have a lot to learn!

    • Pete
      November 27, 2012 - 07:49

      Joe, Island Student HAS done his homework. Yes, HST is a benefit to business. That is why businesses looking to relocate to or set up new operations in the Maritimes go to NS or NB and not PEI. That barrier to new business coming here will be removed and PEI will be back on equal footing with NS and NB. I hate the fact that I will be paying more taxes on some things that I didn't use to but at least I will be paying less tax on all the things I already pay taxes on and with the opportunity to now attract more businesses to PEI, the overall economy should improve somewhat, for the benefit of all taxpayers.

  • Of course not Sheridan
    November 26, 2012 - 18:40

    We won't blame parking rates on hst - we will put the blame where blame is due - on you and the Ghiz government.

  • just the start
    November 26, 2012 - 16:47

    This is just the start. I was talking with my barber the other day and he said he's going to be rounding his fees up about $1-$2 to cover the HST. I was at the Waste Watch drop off last week and they said that annual fees as well as tipping fees at the transfer station and dumpster fees, etc. are all going to go up. And the water bills are going to go up with the higher tax because they are a separate utility from the municipality. Oh what great joy it is to pay more tax -- all because Wes Sheridan is PEI's worst finance minister in a half century and Robert Ghiz is the most financially inept and corrupt premier in this province's history. They couldn't balance my son's piggy bank let alone a larger organization. When is recall legislation coming to PEI? After 2015 they say?

  • Island Student
    November 26, 2012 - 16:44

    I think Wes Sheridan has got it right. Our Island is vastly thirsting for more businesses, thus creating more high paying jobs. Implementing HST will make the Island seem much more attractive to business owners, thus making more people want to settle here. As a student, I know how hard it is being broke. But this HST will take us out of debt, open more businesses, create more jobs and stabilize the Island. The city is being provided a rebate, so the price rise is benefiting the city. I believe Sheridan is making great decisions, and with them, the island will still be able to spend, but slowly climb out of debt.

    • Islandwoman
      November 26, 2012 - 19:10

      How will the HST "open more businesses", "create more jobs"? Its a TAX. A tax doesn't open businesses or create jobs. A demand for goods and/or services is what creates jobs and businesses. If people don't have money to spend there will be no new jobs or businesses.

  • don
    November 26, 2012 - 16:14

    either way mr so called minister of Finance. no worry the tax payers are being screwed by you again.the only ones who will make out ok with the HST is government. but when you are no longer employed and never to be in power again. lets see how you will like the HST.

  • Joe Blow
    November 26, 2012 - 15:30

    Its time for Sheridan to shut up or start being honest with people....I'm sick of hearing the lies about how great HST is going to be and how its not going to effect Islanders in a negative way when thats not the truth!! Why is it so hard for politicians to simply tell the truth?? HST is going to negatively effect ALL Islanders....PERIOD!!! The only people HST will benefit is big businesses that will get most tax breaks and be able to make record profits. Unless the government puts a mandate in place where businesses are forced to reduce prices of their products and spend the money they will be saving in employee wages, all the business will do is chalk the savings up to profit while the public is forced to pay more and more. Sheridan....time to start being honest to the people that pay your wages....Island taxpayers...because you haven't been honest with us yet!! Sheridan has done nothing but insult our intelligence...its time for that to stop.

  • Average Joe
    November 26, 2012 - 14:46

    With exemptions, the city would know what they can expect to pay out. With vague promises of money that "could" offset the impact its pretty hard to make a plan. I can't blame the city for being proactive. I'd be too.

  • intobed
    November 26, 2012 - 14:25

    Sheridan, you can keep proclaiming that the HST will not hurt people or raise prices, but the majority of people who have crunched their budget numbers with the HST included know they are going to be worse off. I also believe it will be even worse than most people think, and the parking rates are just the tip of the iceberg. For all the people opposed to this HST tax grab, please join "Islanders Against HST" on Facebook.