Manitoba’s Most Watched Provincial Sales Tax Hike
- Jun 6, 2014 | Gail Cole
Arguments for and against a controversial Manitoba provincial sales tax increase were heard in court yesterday. Now taxpayers and lawmakers are awaiting a decision by Queen’s Bench Judge Kenneth Hanssen.
Under dispute is how the 1% additional sales tax came to be.
The governing New Democrat Party (NDP) first suspended a legal requirement of “a section of the balanced budget law … [requiring] a referendum on any increase to provincial sales, income, or payroll taxes.” It then raised the provincial sales tax from 7% to 8%.
The opposition Progressive Conservative Party (PC) is challenging the increase, arguing that the NDP broke the law. In its defense, the NDP says “it had to raise the sales tax to make important investments in infrastructure” and that “the provincial government has a right to manage the economy and change laws freely.”
At the close of the televised arguments, Judge Hanssen said he would endeavor to reach a decision quickly but that it would take time.
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