News Release Archive

Results of a poll on the harmonized sales tax indicate a majority
of Nova Scotians believe the new tax system means lower business
costs and that will lead to more jobs, Finance Minister Bill
Gillis said today in releasing the results.

"That is the major reason why we have changed our sales tax
system. I am pleased to know that a majority of Nova Scotians
understand this."

The poll was conducted by Bristol Communications in January when
the federal government and three Atlantic provinces were making
final the details of a policy on tax-included pricing. Many of
the questions related to options being considered at that time.

The government was particularly concerned about how confused
consumers would be with some prices being shown tax-included
while others excluded the 15 per cent tax. The Senate
subsequently insisted that tax-included pricing be suspended
until 51 per cent of the provinces agreed to harmonized their
sales tax systems.

The poll also asked several questions on what kinds of
information people thought they needed on the HST. For instance,
it was noted that three-quarters of Nova Scotians were unaware
the province was cutting income taxes this summer.

Over the past 12 months, the province has spent about $180,000 on
informing businesses and consumers about the HST. About $64,000
was spent on brochures and other material sent to businesses and
consumers to explain how the new tax system would operate.
Another $72,000 was spent on advertising in more than two dozen
newspapers to explain to consumers what the tax changes would
mean. These ads ran in the spring of 1996, the fall of 1996 and
in the early spring of 1997.

The communications effort was co-ordinated by Bristol
Communications at a cost of $39,164.

In addition to the advertising in Nova Scotia, the government
spent another $32,127 in national newspapers to explain the
economic advantages of the HST to businesses who might consider
moving to Nova Scotia.


NOTE TO EDITORS: For a copy of the poll results or more
information, contact Bruce Cameron at 902-424-8787.

Contact: Bruce Cameron
         Department of Finance

trp                Apr. 23, 1997 - 4:20 p.m.