Tuesday, August 11, 2009

With Loopholes Like This....


....Who Needs Hunter S. Thompson.

And/or the dreaded H.S.T.

Rob Shaw, who, unlike more than a few of the other business reporters in this province, is most definitely not a stenographer, had the story in the Victoria Times-Colonist on the weekend.

Here's his lede, and just a wee bit more:

"In a court ruling even the judge admits is likely to tick off B.C. taxpayers, Terasen Gas has avoided paying millions in provincial sales tax because of a crafty legal loophole.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Arne Silverman has granted Terasen its appeal against a provincial government tax bill, freeing the B.C.-based natural gas distributor from almost $4.5 million in PST it owed for building a natural-gas pipeline in southwestern B.C.....


The B.C. government tried to hand Terasen a tax bill of more than $37 million in 2006.

But the company appealed to B.C.'s then minister of small business and revenue, Rick Thorpe, who partially lowered the bill. Thorpe still demanded Terasen pay $4.5 million because the province felt the company had sold, not leased, the equipment to itself. In response, Terasen took the province to court.....


Please remember that, in the old days (ie. before the advent of Gordon Campbell, v2.0), Terasen used to belong to us.

But then Mr. Campbell sold* it to a gaggle of Bush Rangers and Too-Big-To-Fail Buyout-Boyz, the original contingent of which rose like a mutant phoenix from the ashes of Enron.

Subsequently, The Ranger-Boyz raised a little pre-crash liquidity by selling what used to be ours to Fortis.

All of which is just a round about way of saying that we've been screwed.

With our own assets.



And, just in case you've forgotten, the good Docktor Thompson had his own manifesto for dealing with the greedheads.....
*ilpostino points out in the comments that in reality Mr. Campbell 'looked the other way' when BC Gas was sold to the smartest (remaining) guys in the room given that it was not actually a Crown Corporation at the time. We apologize for suggesting otherwise in the original post.


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