Nova Scotia would become a "tax-free zone" for small-business owners if the Progressive Conservatives win the election, Leader Jamie Baillie said Monday.

Baillie visited a restaurant in downtown Halifax on Monday to promise the elimination of the small business tax.

He said the tax rate for small business is an impediment to growth and eliminating the 3.5-per-cent tax would give those companies more than $62 million to help create jobs.

"This will allow small businesses to pay more workers instead of more money to the government. And let me be clear our goal is a simple one. We want to make Nova Scotia the most friendly small business province in all of Canada," he said.

He said the move would lead to jobs for the unemployed and would keep people from going out west.

The NDP is planning to cut the small business tax rate to three per cent in January.

The Dexter government cut the rate four years in a row.

According to the Nova Scotia Finance Department website, over the past four years, the two per cent rate drop has cost the treasury almost $78 million.

Meanwhile the NDP outlined plans for a multi-year plan to pave local roads, which it says would be a first for the province. Leader Darrell Dexter said the program wouldn't cost any additional money because it would come from a reallocation of government funding.

The election will be held Oct. 8.