The HST has dominated the political agenda for more than two years, stretching back to the 2009 election when the Liberals said they would not introduce it, then changed their minds.
Former premier Gordon Campbell paid for the debacle with his job, effectively hamstringing his successor from doing much else with her replacement government other than put a prettier face on the HST.
Provincewide anger over the HST is barely simmering now, but the outcome of the results will have far-reaching results.
A win means the government will take the potentially costly move to reduce the tax to 10 per cent in 2014, but a loss means having to repay Ottawa the $1.6 billion it gave the province to implement the tax.
The result of the referendum is expected in late August or early September.