Premier Scott Moe fulfilled one of the many campaign promises today when his government reinstated the Provincial Sales Tax (PST) exemption for agriculture, life and health insurance premiums, effective immediately.
The exemption covers agriculture, which includes crop, livestock and hail insurance premiums as well as individual and group life and health insurance premiums. The exemption for health insurance includes disability, accident and sickness insurance.
“Our government will help families and small business save money, invest and help our province grow,” Moe said in a press release. “Part of that commitment is to exempt agriculture, life and health insurance from the PST."
The move rescinds a decision by the previous Wall government as the province dealt with a $1.2 billion deficit. The exemption is retroactive to Aug. 1, 2017 — the date PST was applied to insurance.
Meota’s Darryl Fransoo, who is a director on the Canadian Wheat Growers Association, welcomed the news.
“It’s nice to see we have a government that realizes it does make mistakes and listens to the people and overturns it,” Fransoo said. “I applaud the Premier for keeping his campaign promise.”
According to the announcement, the change will have an impact of $65 million on revenue forecast for 2017-18 and a $120 million impact for 2018-19 however Premier Moe said the financial impact can be accommodated within the government’s three-year plan to balance the budget.
“It was a bad decision in the first place and it just punished farmers for doing the right thing,” Fransoo added.
The Ministry of Finance said it they will work with the insurance industry to determine the best way to refund individuals and businesses that have the PST on agriculture, life and health insurance premiums. The government said that more details about how the refunds will be administered will be available by April 10.
On Twitter: @RJWtheReporter
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