An independent tax review committee is recommending that the provincial government eliminate the Temporary Deficit Reduction Levy before the end of 2019, if government should find itself in a position to reduce taxes.
A report presented to government finds that overall the province has a “progressive and fair taxation system,” and that it is not in the position of reducing taxes significantly.
It did point, however, to the Temporary Deficit Reduction Levy introduced in 2016. The levy is different for different tax brackets, and has already been eliminated for those on the lower end of the income scale.
Finance Minister Tom Osborne says he takes every recommendation in the report seriously and will take a view to it as we approach Budget 2019.
He says he committed to a balanced approach and to reducing the tax burden on people as they can afford as a province. He takes the recommendation very seriously and says they will see what they can do.
The report recommends that if government should find itself in a position to reduce taxes in future, they should be focused on Personal Income Tax and the Temporary Deficit Reduction Levy.
Osborne calls the levy a necessary evil.
He says personally he would have liked to have gotten rid of the Levy in 2016. The reality is, it was a necessary evil in order to deal with the deficit and the unprecedented fiscal challenges the province was dealing with.