Nova Scotia’s finance minister defends non-resident property tax measures in budget

Click to play video: 'Nova Scotia legislature feeling impacts of rising COVID-19 cases' Nova Scotia legislature feeling impacts of rising COVID-19 cases
Impacts of COVID-19 on workplaces are being felt at the Nova Scotia legislature. Several MPs are out because of COVID, and budget estimates had to be delayed Thursday because of staffing issues. As Alicia Draus reports, opposition members say this is something that should have been planned earlier. – Mar 31, 2022

Nova Scotia’s finance minister is defending two new taxes aimed at non-resident property owners that are contained in the 2022-23 provincial budget.

Allan MacMaster told reporters today that the deed transfer and property tax measures are intended to help Nova Scotians gain access to housing at a time when vacancy rates are extremely low.

MacMaster says that while he understands some out-of-province property owners may feel frustrated, the government believes it needs to do what it can to increase the housing stock.

The government estimates the new taxes will generate $81 million in revenue in the 2022-23 fiscal year.

MacMaster made the comments today after tabling the Financial Measures Act in the legislature.

The Act provides the legislative authority to implement tax measures contained in the budget, which was introduced last week.

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Read more: Nova Scotia legislature moves to hybrid sitting following COVID 19 outbreak

The finance minister also said he has contracted COVID-19.

MacMaster told reporters Friday via video link that he’s recovering from a mild case of the disease at his home in Cape Breton.

He said he first began to experience symptoms on Monday.

The Nova Scotia legislature scaled back to a hybrid sitting on Tuesday after as many as six members and staff had reportedly been sidelined by the virus late last week.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 8, 2022.

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