Nfld. & Labrador

A taxing year ahead: Here are the N.L. fee hikes that come into effect in 2017

Residents of Newfoundland and Labrador saw more taxes and higher fees in 2016, and that's set to continue with the dawn of a new year.
Many new taxes and fees come into effect Jan. 1 in Newfoundland and Labrador. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

Residents of Newfoundland and Labrador saw more taxes and higher fees in 2016, and that's set to continue with the dawn of a new year.

The second round of increases came into effect Jan 1, as outlined in the 2016 budget, and includes everything from higher income taxes, the new book tax and dozens of new or higher fees from provincial parks, wildlife licenses and more.

Check out the full breakdown of all the changes below.

Provincial income tax

The start of the new year will see the final phasing-in of new income tax rates as outlined in the 2016 budget. Rates went up for all tax brackets during the second half of 2016, and effective Jan. 1 all brackets will again see an increase.

The breakdown is as follows:

  • 1st Bracket ($0 - $35.148) will increase from 8.2 per cent to 8.7 per cent
  • 2nd Bracket ($35,149 - $70,295) will increase from 13.5 per cent to 14.5 per cent
  • 3rd Bracket ($70,296 - $125,500) will increase from 14.55 per cent to 15.8 per cent
  • 4th Bracket ($125,501 - $175,700) will increase from 15.8 per cent to 17.3 per cent
  • 5th Bracket (More than $175,700) will increase from 16.8 per cent to 18.3 per cent

To put it into context, someone who earns $32,000 a year will go from paying $1,902 in provincial income tax to now paying $1,972.

Someone who earns $54,000 a year will go from paying $4,705 in provincial income tax to now paying $4,973.

Someone who earns $90,000 a year will go from paying $9,772 in provincial income tax to now paying $10,449.

New book tax

As of Jan. 1, Newfoundland and Labrador will become the first province in Canada to put a tax on books.

Previously, a point-of-sale provincial HST rebate was applied on books, which meant the tax paid on books was only five per cent. However, the 2016 budget stated the rebate would be eliminated for all books sales except for public-sector organizations such as school boards and universities.

That means that readers in the province will now have to shell out 15 per cent HST on every book they buy.

The Newfoundland and Labrador government released a budget in 2016 that was filled with tax hikes, including many that didn't come into effect until 2017. (CBC)

Provincial fee increases

In 2016 nearly a third of government fees were increased, which the province says will bring in more than $19 million in revenue. While most hikes were already in effect at the end of the year, some of the changes did not take effect until Jan. 1.

The breakdown is as follows:

Provincial parks

  • Nightly vehicle entry fee will increase from $5 to $7
  • Daily vehicle entry fee will increase from $5 to $10
  • Annual vehicle entry fee will increase from $20 to $50
  • Nightly camper storage fee will crease from $3 to $10
  • Winter camper storage fee will increase from $100 to $300
  • Campsite rental fees (serviced and unserviced) will increase by 10 per cent
  • Adult entry permit for Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve (daily) will increase from $0 to $10
  • Family entry permit for Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve (daily) will increase from $0 to $25
  • Adult annual permit for Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve will increase from $0 to $20
  • Family annual permit for Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve will increase from $0 to $50
  • Adult guided tour fee at Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve will increase from $0 to $20
  • Family guided tour fee at Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve will increase from $0 to $50
  • Commercial operator per person entry fee for wilderness and ecological reserves (excluding Cape St. Mary's) will increase from $0 to $3
  • Permit for scientific research and educational use in reserves and parks will increase from $0 to $5
  • Commercial operator per person entry fee for provincial parks (excluding T'Railway) will increase from $0 to $5
  • T'Railway statutory/easement/LTO utilities annual fee (Nalcor/NL Hydro/NF Power/Bell) will increase from $0 to minimum annual fee of $1,000 for up to one hectare (effective April 1)
  • T'Railway construction and use permit application fee will increase from $0 to $125 (effective April 1)
  • T'Railway temporary vehicle access permit application fee will increase from $0 to $125 (effective April 1)
  • Private sector initiatives program market value fee will increase from $0 to a percentage of market value of operator's infrastructure

Wildlife

  • Resident individual salmon licence will increase from $17 to $23
  • Resident family salmon licence will increase from $17 to $23
  • Non‐resident individual salmon licence will increase from $53 to $80
  • Non-resident family salmon licence will increase from $53 to $80
  • Non-resident family salmon licence will increase from $53 to $80
  • Non-resident Individual trout licence will increase from $8 to $12
  • Non-resident family trout licence will increase from $8 to $12
  • Guide licence will increase from $10 to $15 (senior fee will increase from $6.50 to $9.75)

Department of Finance

  • Inter‐Jurisdictional Carrier Multiple Trip International Fuel Tax Agreement, Annual registration/licence fee will increase from $25 to $100
  • Diesel permits will increase from $30, $60 and $90 for a one, two, three year permit to $120, $240, and $360 respectively (effective April 1)

Service NL

  • Pension plan regulation fees will increase from $7.50 for annual return filing to $10 per active member and new fee of $5 per inactive member
  • Corporate annual return fee will increase from $75 with 10 per cent discount for online filers to $100 with 10 per cent discount for online filers
  • Annual real estate agent's licence will increase from $300 to $400
  • Annual real estate salesperson's licence will increase from $100 to $200

Transportation and Works

  • Residential highway access permit will increase from $0 to $50
  • Commercial highway access permit will increase from $0 to $500

City of St. John's fees

As part of the program review process and Budget 2017 preparation, the City of St. John's has released a proposed list of fee changes for recreation programs, parking permits, tickets, Metrobus and inspection services, which took effect Jan. 1.

The breakdown is as follows:

Metrobus/GoBus 

  • Metrobus/GoBus rates have been held at $2.25 per ride since 2008. As of 2017, rates will increase to $2.50 per ride. Metrobus/GoBus pass prices will also increase: details will be made available on metrobus.com. 

Parking Permits and Tickets 

  • Currently, the City of St. John's issues 4,000 parking permits to residents in the downtown area who do not have access to off-street parking. The current cost for a permit is $6 annually. Rates increase in 2017 from $6 a year to $15 a year for areas 1 through 12, with some special permits also increasing. However, rates for not-for-profit organizations will not be changed.
  • Monthly downtown (commercial) parking permit rates will increase by an average $30 per month in 2017 and again in 2018. These fees were approved by council in 2015. 
  • There will also be ticket fine increases between $5 and $20 depending on the ticket infraction. 

Recreation and Room Rentals 

  • Swim rates for the city's indoor public pools will be increased by one dollar on average; outdoor pools will continue to be free for general swims. Rental rates in recreation facilities will also be increased to come more in line with other facility rentals in the region. Adjustments have also been made to the cost for swim lessons. 
  • A fee to rent the Foran/Greene Room at City Hall will be introduced. This fee will be in line with other rentals within the city and help to recover the costs of maintaining that space for both internal and external users.