News Release Archive

Consumers in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland will
soon be seeing the benefits of tax-included pricing. The details
were released today for pricing on stickers, bins, shelves and
signs for the three Atlantic provinces introducing the Harmonized
Sales Tax.

"Consumers have told us that they want to compare prices and to
shop where stickers show the total price," said Finance Minister
Bill Gillis. "That's what we're delivering on and we've found a
flexible way to do it."

The new policy includes options for retailers. Retailers may show
the tax-included price only. They may use dual pricing to show
tax-included and tax-excluded prices. The tax-in price must be at
least as large as the tax-out price. They may also keep national
price stickers on some individual items where bins or shelf
prices are tax-in. Sellers of magazines, seeds and greeting cards
will be allowed to use conversion charts to avoid re-pricing
national labels.

"The bottom line is, it's flexible and fair. Consumers will know
the full price before they reach the cash register, but merchants
will not have to re-sticker every single item, in every case,"
Mr. Gillis said.

"Over the past few months, through consultations and public
presentations to our Law Amendments Committee, retailers have
asked governments to consider the implications of moving toward
tax-included pricing. We believe the details released today show
we have listened," said the minister.

The rules will give businesses sufficient flexibility. The date
for implementation of tax included pricing remains at April 7,
1997. Businesses now know the rules and are expected to begin
best efforts to meet that date, the minister said. The
governments will not have full monitoring of compliance until
August 1, 1997.

"We're asking businesses to show good faith by complying with the
law as quickly as possible. But, we also recognize that some
merchants may wish to convert systems and re-sticker many
products so they can offer consumers the full benefits of tax-in
pricing. The business community has asked for time to implement
this process and we understand that need," the minister said.

As an example, a store with a wide range of prices may opt not to
use shelf or bin pricing. In this case they may place signs in
the store indicating that re-stickering is underway and convert
prices over a number of days or weeks. In the initial stages of
implementation, governments will be carrying out an education
campaign on tax included pricing. Retailers are expected to show
good faith in trying to meet the requirements of the legislation.

Governments are still examining proposal on how to treat
tax-included pricing for advertising, and details on those rules
should be released shortly, he said.

"Seventy-three per cent of Nova Scotians polled told us the want
to see the tax-in price, the full price, on the price tag. 
Consumers want a world where the price you see is the price you
pay. This is how we get there with some flexibility built in,"
said Mr. Gillis.


Contact: Bruce Cameron  902-424-8787
         The full rules may be found on the Internet at:          

trp                      Jan. 17, 1997 - 1:30 p.m.