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.