Nova Scotia

Combined taxes highest in N.S.

Nova Scotians pay the highest level of taxes in the country, according to a report prepared for the provincial Finance Department.

Nova Scotians pay the highest level of taxes in the country, according to a report prepared for the provincial Finance Department.

When federal, provincial and municipal taxes are added up, Nova Scotians pay the highest share of GDP, slightly ahead of Prince Edward Island, the report states.

The provincial income tax, as a proportion of GDP, is the second highest behind Quebec.

"Finally the government itself is informing taxpayers of this province that they're being taxed higher than anywhere else in Canada," said Kevin Lacey, with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

"I think it leads to calls for beginning to reduce these taxes so that we can make this province more competitive."

The report describes the differences within the Maritimes as marginal while conceding that Nova Scotia's tax rates tend to be higher than national averages.

The report also reflects some of the tax collection challenges posed by the province's aging population as more seniors take advantage of tax credits.

"The government doesn't want to admit the tax problem it has," Lacey said.

The 129-page report was posted on the provincial government's website in April with no fanfare.

The CBC's request for an interview with Finance Minister Graham Steele was declined Tuesday.

This graph shows total taxes (except social security contributions) by province as a per cent of nominal GDP. ((Nova Scotia Finance Department))

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