The Toronto Sun reports that the impact of the proposed HST on condominium corporations and their unit owners is turning into a political football in the September 17 provincial by-election in the Toronto riding of St. Paul’s.

The opposition parties have condemned the proposed new tax because it will cause condominium fees to increase.

Finance Minister Dwight Duncan says he does not expect to see a substantial increase in condo fees, which flies in the face of the predictions made by the condominium management industry that fees will rise on average by 6 to 8%. These predictions were reported in recent months in the Toronto Star here and in the Globe and Mail here.

Notwithstanding the large number of services that the HST will affect, Finance Minister Duncan says:

"I have a condominium in Windsor and my condominium fees will likely not be affected because the services we buy are very competitively delivered."

Let me guess: His condo corporation is locking-in and pre-paying the next ten years’ worth of fees for legal, accounting, engineering, property management, landscaping, contracting, housekeeping and any other service not currently subject to PST.   Alternatively, perhaps this corporation has chosen to discontinue some or most of those services.

Shame on you, Minister Duncan. Rather than try to convince us that the HST is not going to have a big effect on our pocketbooks (which is decidedly untrue), you would do better to convince us that this tax is necessary and will benefit all of us in the long term.

Meanwhile, we wait to see what the voters of St. Paul’s decide.