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Nova Scotia Budget Report 2022

Last updated: Apr. 5, 2022 

On March 29, 2022, Nova Scotia Minister of Finance and Treasury Board Allan MacMaster tabled the province’s fiscal 2022–23 budget.

Nova Scotia Budget 2022, is focused on:

  • Solutions for Healthcare: laying the foundation for mental health, improving access to primary care, and investing in long-term care
  • Solutions for our Economy: housing, business, economy/workforce
  • Solutions for our Future: environment, education, supporting Nova Scotians

The budget anticipates a surplus of $108 million for 2021-22 and projects deficits of $506 million for 2022-23, $419 million for 2023-24, $377 million for 2024-25, and $294 million for 2025-26.

The budget does not include any new changes to the corporate or personal tax rates. However, it does contain several tax measures affecting individuals and corporations, including a personal tax refund for eligible individuals in certain skilled trades and occupations and a Property Tax and Deed Transfer Tax for residential properties owned or acquired by non-residents of Nova Scotia.

Highlights

  • The largest projected deficit announced since 2013-14 at $506.2 million, increasing the province’s net debt to approximately $18.4 billion.
  • The deficit is being driven by an increase in spending on health care, which is projected to rise by $413.4 million.
  • $17.5 million is allocated to perform 2,500 more surgeries, expand operating room hours, and add hospital beds.
  • $22.9 million is allocated to continue the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines
  • $15 million is allocated for affordable housing programs.
  • New taxes are being levied on smaller residential properties owned by non-residents.
  • The province’s capital budget is a record $1.6 billion, with the majority of money going towards hospital maintenance and redevelopment.

A more detailed analysis is provided below.

Personal Tax Measures

Personal income tax rates

The budget does not include any changes to personal income tax rates. As a result, Nova Scotia’s personal income tax rates effective January 1, 2022, remain as follows:

For taxable income in excess of $150,000, the 2022 combined federal-Nova Scotia personal income tax rates are as follows:

Nova Scotia Non-Refundable Tax Credits

The government confirmed today that personal tax credits for 2021 will be indexed by 1.0%. The maximum tax credit amounts and actual Nova Scotia tax credits for 2021 and 2022 are set out below.

Tax Refund for Skilled Trades

The budget introduces a More Opportunities for Skilled Trades (MOST) tax refund for individuals under the age of 30 who are employed and registered in certain skilled trades and occupations, effective for the 2022 and subsequent taxation years.

MOST provides a refund of personal provincial income tax on the first $50,000 of earned income for eligible individuals. This refund will first be available for selected occupations in eligible sectors, including manufacturing, computer and IT, transportation, film, video, and service sectors in the province, with further details to be provided in regulations.

Children’s Sports and Arts Tax Credit

The budget introduces a $500 refundable tax credit for eligible expenditures on artistic, cultural, and physical activities for children under the age of 19, effective for the 2022 and subsequent taxation years. The credit is available for organized physical activities and programs, as well as programs in literary arts, visual arts, performing arts, music, media, languages, customs, and heritage.

Corporate (Business) Tax Measures

Corporate income tax rates

The budget does not announce changes to the province’s corporate tax rates. No changes are proposed to the $500,000 small-business limit.
Nova Scotia’s corporate income tax rates effective January 1, 2022, remain as follows:

Indirect Tax Measures

The minister proposed the following indirect tax measures:

Non-Resident Property Tax

The budget implements a Property Tax on residential real property owned by a non-resident of Nova Scotia at the rate of $2.00 per $100 of assessed value, effective for the 2022–23 fiscal year.

Residential properties that contain more than three units and residential properties that are leased to individual Nova Scotian residents for a period of at least 12 months will not be subject to this tax.

When a property has multiple owners, an exemption from this tax is provided if 50% or more of the owners are residents of Nova Scotia.

Non-Resident Deed Transfer Tax

The budget implements a Deed Transfer Tax of 5% of the value of residential real property purchased by a non-resident of Nova Scotia, effective April 1, 2022.

The tax will not apply to a transaction where the Agreement of Purchase and Sale was entered into prior to April 1, 2022, or to non-resident purchasers who move to the province within six months of the transaction’s closing date.

Harmonized Sales Tax

No Change

The budget does not include any changes to the harmonized sales tax rate of 15%.

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