Finance and Treasury Board Minister Diana Whalen presented Nova Scotia’s 2015-2016 budget on April 9, 2015. This year’s budget focuses on fiscal sustainability, economic growth and education, as well as addressing and adapting to the province’s demographic challenges.
From a commodity tax perspective, only one significant change was announced.
Tobacco Tax Increase
The budget announced an increase to tobacco taxes of two cents per unit, effective April 10, 2015. This raises the tax on cigarettes and pre-proportioned tobacco sticks to 25.52 cents per unit and the tax on fine cut tobacco to 24 cents per gram. This increase also aligns with the province’s expectation of lower tobacco consumption.
In the fall of 2014, Nova Scotia’s Tax and Regulatory Review Report highlighted that the point-of-sale rebates currently in place for the provincial component of the HST on children’s clothing, children’s diapers, children’s footwear, feminine hygiene products and printed books should be eliminated. However, while the budget promises to take a careful, long-term approach in reviewing the report’s recommendations, the province confirmed that it will maintain the current HST rebates for all of these commodities.
Additional information on the Nova Scotia 2015 budget is available on the province’s web site at: