N.B. corporate taxes low enough to lure away N.S. businesses: business group

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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HALIFAX - A small business lobby group says it will soon be much cheaper to run a small business in New Brunswick than in Nova Scotia due to tax breaks that New Brunswick will begin phasing in.
Leanne Hachey, a vice-president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, says in a few years, New Brunswick's corporate tax rate will be eight per cent, half of Nova Scotia's 16 per cent rate.
The federation represents small- and medium-sized businesses across the country.
She says she fears for businesses in Nova Scotia if the province doesn't respond.
New Brunswick announced several tax relief measures in its March budget that include lowering and reducing the number of personal income tax brackets and cutting its general corporate income tax rate, which stands at 13 per cent.
The changes, to be phased in over four years, were to start being implemented July 1.
"Outside of Alberta, New Brunswick will be the most competitive province on a tax front in the country," said Hachey.
"They are doing some fantastic things."
A recent federation study, carried out before the tax reforms were announced, already rated New Brunswick the second-best province in the country with regard to tax structure.
"They are just going to become more competitive," she said.
New Brunswick is also reducing the number of personal income tax brackets from four to two.
Eventually, individuals with an annual income of $36,000 and under will be taxed at a rate of nine per cent. Those with an annual income above that amount will be taxed at 12 per cent.
"Families at all income levels will be saving anywhere from hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars, depending on income," Hachey said.
"Personal income taxes rank right up there (in importance) because not all businesses are incorporated. "
She said the federation is waiting for the new NDP government to settle in before it launches a campaign to raise awareness about the tax situation in Nova Scotia.
"We need something big and bold (in Nova Scotia) similar to what they are doing in New Brunswick. "
"There cannot be a sustainable situation where you have two provinces operating beside each other with similar economies with one province being taxed significantly lower."

Organizations: Canadian Federation of Independent Business

Geographic location: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, HALIFAX Alberta

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