Islanders spending now to beat the HST
Some businesses say Islanders are rushing to pay for services they won't use until summer in an effort to beat the incoming harmonized sales tax.
It will be months before actors take the stage at the Montgomery Theatre in New Rustico, but dozens of theatregoers already have their season tickets in hand.
"We've been openly telling everybody as loud as we can, as often as we can, that they should come and buy now," said artistic director Duncan McIntosh.
In just nine days those season tickets will cost a lot more.
"Now people pay five per cent tax, and after February first they'll pay 14 per cent," McIntosh said.
The HST doesn't kick in until April first, but businesses that sell products or services that won't be used until April have to start charging the 14 per cent HST starting Feb. 1.
Wes Sheridan, the province's finance minister, said he's just trying to ease consumers and businesses into the new tax as fairly as possible.
"You don't want anyone paying double and you don't want tax avoidance in any great amount. So the most important thing is to establish fair transition rules in the long run and that's exactly what we've done," he said.
Many campgrounds say they have been advising customers to pay for their seasonal campsites now.
The owner of Marco Polo Land says customers have been listening.
"They love saving. They save at least $100" said Hennie Hoekstra.
"As Islanders we specialize in getting the best deal."