Finance and Treasury Board Minister Karen Casey introduced the Financial Measures (2017) Act today, Oct. 11.
The act provides the legislative authority to implement measures in Budget 2017-18, including tax reductions. It also continues the freeze on salaries for members of the legislature.
“Government has tabled back-to-back balanced budgets, in part, by keeping a close eye on expenses,” said Ms. Casey. “Freezing MLA salaries demonstrates our commitment to working with Nova Scotians to restore our province’s financial health.
“Nova Scotians will benefit from our ongoing efforts, as we are in a better financial position to reduce their taxes and invest in their priorities, like health care, education, our youth and the economy.”
The act increases the basic personal allowance for those who have a taxable income under $75,000. This means more than 60,000 additional Nova Scotians will no longer pay provincial income tax. It increases the number of people who do not pay tax by 28 per cent. When it comes in effect on Jan. 1, more than 280,000 Nova Scotians will no longer pay any provincial income tax.
“This is one of the largest income tax cuts in recent history – it helps those who need it most,” said Ms. Casey.
Budget 2017-18 provides tax relief to small business by increasing the small business tax threshold to $500,000 from $350,000. About 11,400 businesses pay the small business rate now.
“We are also providing tax relief to an additional 1,800 small businesses so they can grow and hire more Nova Scotians,” said Ms. Casey.
Ms. Casey said this budget is another step on the province’s path toward better financial health. Recent reports from Standard and Poor’s and the Parliamentary Budget Officer praised the fiscal efforts of Nova Scotians. The Parliamentary Budget Officer said Nova Scotia is one of only two provinces with sustainable finances over the long term.
“We kept a close eye on spending, controlled costs, and made strategic investments to get to this point,” said Ms. Casey. “Now Nova Scotians are reaping the rewards with tax cuts, historic investments in pre-primary, and more money to improve access to health care.”
For Budget 2017-18 information, see www.novascotia.ca/budget .