Canadians & Americans declare war over taxes this month, as many Canadians are hit by higher taxes in the form of a new HST tax. Thousands of canucks flocked south through the border to the USA both to avoid the HST tax and to take advantage of their new tax exempt status. Unfortunately, they were met with mixed responses.
While some people have been able to get the BC residents tax exemption in Washington state, many were turned away or even burned at the stake for even asking for it. This is despite the fact that it is fully legal for a BC resident to claim an exemption from the WA sales tax. Many Americans are rightfully angry about the condition of the bad economy, and are turning their anger towards Canada. There's a time to think, and a time to act. And in WA right now, this is no time to think.
At the border, it has gotten ugly as the Minuteman Project has their people patrolling the border and turning back Canadians who were trying to do some cross-border shopping. “We are working on ways to bring national awareness to the growing illegal alien invasion and cross border shopping with tax-exempt status," said a spokesman from deep inside his protective bunker. "I'll tell ya another thing: their beer sucks!" This is from passionate defenders of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and an avid supporter of law enforcement organizations, but they are out in force against the sales tax-exemption.
Skagit County Superior Court Judge Michael Rickert granted a preliminary injunction requiring all retailers in the state to collect state sales taxes from residents of all Canadian provinces while a lawsuit is pending. The plaintiffs are hoping the lawsuit will remain pending until the next ice age, as they are keen to maintain the injunction indefinitely.
Whatcom County and the City of Bellingham, about 60 kilometers south of Vancouver, challenged the state's tax-free declaration on the grounds that they depend on the millions of dollars in revenue generated by Canadian shoppers. What they did not take into account was that many of their member businesses welcomed the extra business that the tax-exempt status brought them. In many stores, the shelves were empty as hordes of maple syrup eating Canadians descended upon their stores like locusts and bought out everything in sight.
"Canadians are always dreaming up a lotta ways to ruin our lives. The metric system, celsius, and now tax exemptions!" said one little old lady who was angry that Canadians were getting special treatment. "It's a free country, and my sons died for that freedom. If they don't like it here, with our sales tax, they can swim back across the river to Canada."
If you are a Canadian, be sure to ask for the tax exemption, since many stores will give it to you. They might just pay the taxes themselves, to appease the court injunction, but the result is the same. Of course you can always shop at the indian stores, and pay no taxes either. Remember to flip the bird to Gordon Campbell as you return home.
Meanwhile, some Americans, such as the minute men, are volunteering their time to shout "Canadians Go Home!" and other things not fit to print. Canadians should be careful when asking for the tax exemption at places like gun shops, since they may not get what they expected.
Meanwhile in Canada, ministers are planning a response to the tax exemption on their own. Canada customs can not only collect duty, but charge HST on goods coming into Canada. In Abbottsford, they have shortened the times that the border is open, to limit the number of shoppers going south. In other border crossings, they are putting less people in the booths to slow down the traffic in the hopes that people will just give up and put up with the new HST tax.