Rosann Wowchuk

Rosann Wowchuk

Finance Minister Rosann Wowchuk today released a report on the impact that sales tax harmonization would have on Manitoba families, businesses and public finances. 

The report, titled Sales Tax Harmonization in Manitoba: What it would mean for households, businesses and public finances, found that implementing a harmonized sales tax (HST) in Manitoba would impose $405 million in additional sales taxes on families, increasing their share of the sales tax burden to 86 from 54 per cent. 

“With the global recession causing so much economic uncertainty for Manitoba families, we don’t think it makes sense to impose $405 million in new sales taxes,” said Wowchuk. “We are not prepared to risk the economic recovery by undermining Manitoba’s growing consumer confidence.” 

The report also provides an overview of the uneven impact of an HST on companies noting, on balance, an HST would provide a net benefit to Manitoba business. 

“Manitoba has provided more than $400 million in tax relief for Manitoba business which will include, by the end of 2010, completely eliminating the Corporation Capital Tax for all business and making Manitoba Canada’s first income tax free zone for small business,” said Wowchuk. “Our experience has been that we can make our business taxes more competitive without imposing millions of dollars in new sales taxes on the backs of Manitoba families.” 

The minister noted that Manitoba will continue to monitor and evaluate sales tax harmonization in other Canadian jurisdictions.  

The report is available here

Click here to access the backgrounder to this news release.