Why are First Nations still paying Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) in Ontario?

Remember when I said that, beginning Sept. 1, the province of Ontario was going to be honouring point-of-sale tax exemptions for its (8%) portion of the 13% Harmonized Sales Tax (HST)?  Well, it seems some retailers didn’t get the message.

While shopping today, I flashed my trusty Secure Certificate of Indian Status at both Walmart and Home Depot and was denied the 8% exemption at both places.

At Walmart, the clerk told me she wasn’t sure that they were going to be giving the exemption, while at Home Depot I was told politely to hang on to my receipt since their system hadn’t yet been updated to give the exemption.

Turns out I’m not alone.  Wawatay News is reporting that many other First Nations people in Ontario are being forced to pay the full HST by retailers.

According to the article, Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee has a message for those retailers:

“That was part of the deal we negotiated with Ontario: they accepted responsibility for ensuring that all businesses in the province complied with their tax regime. We showed Ontario that we were prepared to take to the streets to fight for our rights. We are also prepared to fight for our rights in stores and malls, if necessary.”

[ Image via HSTpetition.com ]

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