Local car dealers unhappy with PST change

By Glenn Hicks
April 13, 2018 - 8:00am

Not surprisingly Prince Albert dealers aren't happy with the end to the PST exemption on used vehicles over $5,000 as announced in this week's Saskatchewan budget.

An an example, a previously owned vehicle valued at $17,000 is now subject to a $1,020 tax at the current six per cent rate.

“Why should the consumer have to reach into their pocket and give that much of their hard-earned cash back to the government?” Curtis Montpellier, the general manager at O'Brians Automotive told paNOW. “The tax has already been paid on that particular asset. I think it’s ridiculous.”

As well as labelling the move a “money-grab” Montpellier took issue with finance minister Donna Harpauer’s view that most people only change their vehicle every three years so should be able to handle the extra tax.

“Whether they make a purchase every year or every three years I think if the government has already stuck their hands in the pocket of the original purchaser they shouldn’t continue to pay," Montpellier said. "We’re not talking 20 or 30 bucks; we’re talking thousands of dollars.”

Meanwhile Terry Gerlach the general manager at DriveNation in P.A. says while the average car replacement is every three years, that’s not the case for many motorists in our region.

“In and around P.A. our clients put up between 30,000 and 40,000 kilometres each year and I have people trading in every 18 months because they’re doing a lot of driving,” he said.

Gerlach said anyone in the sub-prime lending world may have to settle for a lesser quality vehicle now because of the average $1,000 extra in tax.

He’s hopeful the new revenues to be generated by cannabis retail tax starting later this year will mean the PST on used vehicles is temporary.

“[The government ] left the cannabis revenues off the table but once that money comes onto the books maybe they’ll [change things]. It wouldn’t be the first time they’ve implemented a process and then changed it within 18 month or so,” he said.


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