Press Room

Nova Scotia Budget 2009-2010

Press Release Oct 20, 2009

The Honourable Graham Steele, as Finance Minister for the recently elected NDP government of Nova Scotia, presented his first budget on September 24, 2009. Nova Scotia’s former minority Conservative government was defeated when the now governing NDP party refused to support their attempt to amend the province’s balanced budget law at the time of introduction of the 2009 budget on May 4, 2009. This current budget contains a number of initiatives announced in the previous budget and notes that the province will operate at a significant deficit for the year 2009 - 2010.

The May 2009 budget had contained one commodity tax change: a Tobacco Tax increase of five cents per cigarette, tobacco stick and gram of fine cut tobacco, to be effective on May 5, 2009. This increase was actually put in place by the newly elected government, effective 12:01 a.m. on June 23, 2009.

There are only two major commodity tax announcements to consider in today’s budget.

In an effort to assist families, effective October 1, 2009, the 8% provincial component of the HST will be removed from all home electricity. This is an extension of the current program that rebates electricity only on usage in excess of 27.4 kWhs per day. To accomplish this, the tax will be removed from all domestic electricity billings; consumers will not be required to apply for this rebate.

Additionally, as announced on July 7, 2009, a New Home Construction Rebate will allow individuals building their own homes and purchasers of new homes to claim a rebate equivalent to 50% of the provincial component of the HST, to a maximum value of $7,000. In order to qualify for this rebate construction of the home must have commenced on or after January 1, 2009 and the home must be substantially complete prior to March 31, 2010. Only 1,500 homes will be eligible for this rebate.

Further information on Nova Scotia’s Columbia’s 2009 budget may be found on the province’s web site at Nova Scotia Department of Finance - Budget Documents 2008-10.

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