Manitoba

Manitoba Tories would eliminate PST for filing taxes if party wins election

Premier Brian Pallister is promising to take away an extra cost attached to filing taxes if his Progressive Conservatives are re-elected in next month's provincial election.

Tax cuts have featured prominently in Pallister's campaign so far

Manitoba Progressive Conservative Leader Brian Pallister has been making a lot of tax-cutting promises in his re-election campaign. (Jeff Stapleton/CBC)

Premier Brian Pallister is promising to take away an extra cost attached to filing taxes if his Progressive Conservatives are re-elected in next month's provincial election.

Pallister announced Thursday he would eliminate the provincial sales tax on preparation of tax forms — saving Manitobans about $3 million a year.

Manitobans go to the polls Sept. 10.

"The NDP loved taxes so much, they thought you should pay extra for the privilege of paying them by charging the PST on tax preparation services," the premier said in a news release.

Tax cuts have been a centre point of the Tories campaign so far, but the opposition said it will come at the cost of more important services.

The party already announced it would stop taxing home and rental insurance.

It also promised to remove PST from costly haircuts and nail treatments. In 2012, the NDP government at the time extended the sales tax to haircuts and other services costing more than $50.

Last week, Pallister also pledged to eliminate probate fees and the provincial sales tax on wills.

"We are the only team that is fighting for lower taxes and helping to put more money on the kitchen tables of Manitobans," Pallister said.

The Tories cut the provincial sales tax back to seven per cent from eight per cent as of July 1 to fulfil their biggest promise from the 2016 campaign. The former NDP government raised it to eight per cent in 2013.

The Opposition New Democrats have said the tax cuts will result in a reduction in services that people are really concerned about, including health care.

Manitoba Liberal Leader Dougal Lamont said the province has an expensive and complicated tax system and many people can't afford the cost of tax preparation at all. He has promised a review of taxation to make it simple and transparent.

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