News and Insights

Nova Scotia Tax and Regulatory Review Released

Tax Development Nov 24, 2014

The Finance and Treasury Board of Nova Scotia has published the Nova Scotia Tax and Regulatory Review (the “Review”), entitled, “Charting a Path for Growth”.  This review covers all aspects of taxation in Nova Scotia, including personal and corporate income tax, consumption tax, fuel tax and tobacco tax.  Laurel C. Broten, a public policy expert and Review Lead, discusses her findings and recommendations in the Review.

She highlighted the aging population and shrinking workforce, and emphasized a need for a reduction in both personal and corporate income tax rates, to be offset with a shift towards consumption taxes.  Nova Scotia already has the highest consumption taxes in Canada, with HST of 15%.  Suggestions include eliminating the point of sale rebate for the provincial portion of HST on items such as children’s clothing, printed books and residential energy.

While a reduction in personal tax rates will benefit individual consumers, the increase in after-tax income may be overshadowed by the expansion of the applicability of the HST.

Note that the Review merely provides an analysis and recommendations for consideration by the Finance Minister; nothing has been put into effect.