Re: Border-town retailers brace for new duty-free rules, May 29.
Nice to see the Progressive Conservatives helping our local Canadian small business.
I think that they forgot to calculate in that the majority of Canadians reside within 25 miles of the Canada-U.S. border. While this government is cancelling the likes of our Coast Guard, EI benefits and raising the retirement age to 67, they have as well exported retail sales to the U.S. that many small and local businesses depend on to both employ and collect tax.
I do not find fault with consumers – in particular seniors and families – for taking the time to shop south of the border.
Under the new rules, you will be encouraged to travel to the U.S. over a 48-hour period, most likely supporting the travel and hospitality industry in Whatcom County. This, as I understand it, means a couple with two children would be able to bring back after 48 hours $800 per person, or a total of $3,200. This could occur on a monthly basis or even with more frequency with no duty or applicable tax being collected.
The applicable sales tax now will be placed into the State of Washington coffers of no benefit to any Canadian, nor will future Christmases be a happy event for small business as well.
As for the benefits of buying gas in a U.S. border town – in particular, say, Blaine or Lynden – I, for one, am guilty.
But then the feeling quickly dissipates as I know I have been able to avoid the likes of TransLink.
Ron Eves, White Rock