News Release Archive


The government of Nova Scotia has introduced legislation
authorizing the harmonization of the Goods and Services Tax (GST)
and the Provincial Sales Tax (PST). The new Sales Tax Act
ratifies the agreement between the province and the federal
government that sets up the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST). The
legislation also allows the province to create rules on tax
included pricing. These rules will make sure consumers know the
final price of an item or service before they make the purchase

Finance Minister Bill Gillis said, "Consumers have consistently
shown a strong preference for this policy. The latest public
opinion poll shows support on the rise throughout Atlantic Canada
with 76 per cent of those asked wanting taxes to be included in
the price and disclosed at the cash."

Dr. Gillis said, "We want to create a balance between the
interests of consumers and those of business. We are still
seeking the views of people on how to best implement tax included
pricing." As an example, the governments involved are looking at
requirements for repricing items on a shelf or on racks such as
magazines, newspapers and greeting cards.

The new sales tax is also moving through the legislative process
in the Parliament of Canada and the legislature of Newfoundland.
In Ottawa, the federal bill received first reading yesterday and
it is anticipated that second reading will begin today. In
Newfoundland, that province's version of the bill also received
first reading yesterday. The New Brunswick government is
committed to introducing the legislation shortly after Dec. 10.

The HST will be applied at a lower rate than the combined GST and
PST, but on a broader base. Everyday items such as household
cleaning products, hardware supplies, telephone and cable
television bills, and prepared food will go down in price, as
will long lasting items such televisions, appliances, furniture
and automobiles. Going up will be items such as gasoline, heating
fuels and electricity. Goods and services not taxed by the GST
such as basic groceries, residential rents, mortgage interest,
day care and medically necessary home care will remain untaxed by
the HST.

The legislature has already passed income tax cuts to help smooth
the transition to the new tax system. The HST is scheduled to go
into effect on April 1, 1997.


Contact: Bruce Cameron  902-424-8787

trp                   Dec. 03, 1996 - 1:25 p.m.