News Release Archive

Finance Minister Bill Gillis has announced the details of a
program to maintain tax rebates for individuals with mobility and
communication disabilities. The rebate, which is currently
available under the Health Services Tax Act, is designed for
persons who require specially adapted motor vehicles for personal
transportation or for those who may require a computer as a
communication device. The new program will cost approximately
$215,000, which is the same as the current rebate program
available under the Health Services Tax Act.

In addition, Dr. Gillis announced that the province will be
contributing half a million dollars a year as it's share of the
new tax measures for persons with disabilities announced last
week by the federal government.

"The Government of Nova Scotia is trying to make sure the tax
system works for those who have disabilities. We recognize the
additional costs that persons with disabilities face merely as a
result of their disability and we believe that the tax system can
be one mechanism to respond to their needs."

"Provincial and federal tax relief initiatives will help provide
the opportunity for greater independence for people with
disabilities," said John MacEachern, Minister responsible for the
Disabled Persons Commission Act. "They will also provide fair tax
treatment for the disabled as requested in the recent federal
task force report."

The tax rebate for both vehicles and computers is the eight per
cent provincial portion of the HST, the two per cent Transitional
Tax on the purchase of a new or used vehicle, and the 15 per cent
Provincial Sales Tax on the private purchase of used vehicles.

The limits on the rebates remain at $3,000 for a vehicle and $300
for a computer. The cost of the program is estimated to be
$185,000 for motor vehicles and $30,000 for personal computers.
In the case of a motor vehicle, the program is designed to assist
people who have lost the use of both lower limbs. With personal
computers, the program helps those with severe communication
disabilities, such as people who are blind or deaf.

Applications can be made for the tax rebates through the Nova
Scotia Tax Commission.

The federal budget measures announced last week call for a
significant increase in assistance for people with disabilities
through improvements to the income tax system. The federal
government will allow a medical expense credit for 20 per cent of
the cost of a wheelchair accessible van, up to a limit of $5,000.
This credit will also apply to Nova Scotia personal income taxes.
Nova Scotia will provide approximately $500,000 in tax relief
under these measures.

"We applaud the federal efforts, and are pleased to be making our
own significant investment in assisting persons with disabilities
attain full social and economic independence," said Dr. Gillis.


Contact: Bruce Cameron  902-424-8787

trp                     Feb. 27, 1997 - 1:20 p.m.