PST STEERING COMMITTEE ACCEPTS PROVINCIAL DECISION

Dawson Creek ? The BC PST Steering Committee today announced their acceptance of the provincial government?s decision on reducing the sales tax along BC?s border with Alberta.

Representing BC?s eastern border communities, the Committee produced considerable research in identifying the nature and size of the cross-border shopping challenge, as well as potential solutions. Based on this research, the Committee made a proposal to the provincial government to reduce the PST in border communities as a way to stem the loss of cross-border revenue.

Recently, the BC Government conducted a review of the proposal, and firmly declined to pursue it. Says Committee Chair Alvin Stedel, a Dawson Creek Councillor, ?Obviously, we would have liked a different ending to this, but the government has been very clear in its position. At this time, it is more productive for us to find other ways to work with government and our communities to ensure our long-term economic viability?.

Committee Vice Chair Greg Deck, of the East Kootenay Regional District comments, ?While our Committee is disbanding, we should note that we did accomplish a few things. This is the first time any provincial government has given such a proposal a thorough review ? this itself is a major step forward and we thank them for this. In addition, the provincial government, specifically through Small Business and Revenue Minister Rick Thorpe, has offered to work with us to find ways to strengthen the small business and retail sectors in our community. We are pleased to accept this offer?.

Concluded Councillor Stedel, ?We want to thank all of those individuals, communities and organizations who have supported us in our research and advocacy efforts.?