Press Release - May 25, 2011
Nova Scotia tax burden is too high says Halifax Chamber
For immediate release
May 25, 2011- Halifax, NS- A recent provincial report on taxes confirms what the Halifax Chamber of Commerce has been saying for years. “We’ve been avoiding dealing with Nova Scotia’s lack of cost competitiveness and particularly high taxes for far too long,” says Chamber President Valerie Payn. “Bottom line is: Nova Scotians pay the highest taxes in Canada, and this is simply not acceptable, it is not competitive and it is not sustainable.”
“There are two fundamental problems, one we can’t fix and one we can,” say Payn. “The problem we can’t fix is that as a province we’ve been living beyond our means for far too long. The problem that we can fix, in simple terms, is that Nova Scotians do not make enough money. We need to stop blaming past and current governments for the situation that we are in and concentrate on creating more wealth through higher wages, higher earnings and greater prosperity for all Nova Scotians”
Nova Scotia has the 2nd highest per capita tax burden of any province in Canada and the highest total tax burden as a percentage of nominal GDP and this has made the province uncompetitive compared to other provinces in Canada as well as other jurisdictions in North America.
“We have always taken some consolation that we were well placed within the Atlantic Provinces but given that this is no longer the case we need to set our sights higher and compare ourselves to other parts of Canada, American states and countries around the world,” continues Payn. “The simple fact is our taxes are too high in comparison other provinces in Canada from Ontario westward and virtually every state south of the border.”
Nova Scotia’s GDP is comparatively low partially because of the size of our population and partially due to our low productivity. The province’s economic strategy, jobsHere, has a plan to increase productivity by investing in skills training, productivity through innovation, and expanding volume by opening export markets.
“This is the right way forward to drive GDP growth” says Payn, “but our lack of cost competitiveness on the tax front is a major impediment to success.”
The Chamber will be hosting two “Issues Roundtables” in the coming months related to Nova Scotia’s competitiveness. The first will directly address taxation while the second has a broader mandate to discuss innovation, productivity and prosperity.
For more information contact:
Janet CreamerDirector of Marketing & Communications
Halifax Chamber of Commerce