Valerie Payn
Valerie Payn, President & CEO
 

Dear Members,

Last Wednesday the provincial government received the final report of the Tax and Regulatory Review led by Laurel Broten. We’ve been anticipating this report for some time and it has been a major focus of our work on reducing the tax burden and championing common sense regulations.

The report, called Charting a Plan for Growth, outlines Nova Scotia’s unsustainable fiscal position and calls for bold changes to taxes, regulations, and fees. There’s a lot to digest in this report but here are some of its major recommendations:

  • A revenue-neutral shift from personal to consumption taxes
  • Introducing a pollution tax
  • Reducing personal and corporate income taxes
  • Increasing small business taxes
  • Holding program spending growth at 0%, which is a major improvement on the current fiscal plan

The report also states that regulations cost Nova Scotia $747 million in 2013. The report’s regulatory recommendations would go a long way toward creating a measurable and more efficient regulatory burden for businesses.

Far be it from the Chamber to ever be happy with any tax increases which, in this case, take the form of a pollution tax and increase in the small business tax rate. Any costs to business will have to be judged against offsetting tax relief. But most importantly, we each need to decide whether we are willing for each of us to bear some short-term pain to get our province on a sustainable footing toward the future we know we can have.

The government has not stated which, if any, of the recommendations they will accept, but any changes will likely be a part of the next provincial budget in April. The report’s author did warn that cherry picking specific recommendations would not be a good idea given the province’s financial position. If you have any comments please send them to eric@halifaxchamber.com.

If you would like more information, please see the following:

I encourage you to take part and provide feedback, as a Chamber member, we rely on your input. I look forward to reviewing your thoughts and continuing to advocate on your behalf.

Sincerely,

Valerie Payn
President and CEO, Halifax Chamber of Commerce