We told the Premier that 90% of businesses wanted the government to remove the PST from insurance premiums. We’re pleased Premier Scott Moe listened, and reinstated the PST exemption for agriculture, life and health insurance premiums. While this is an important step forward, we will continue to push for the removal of the PST from other insurance products such as property and vehicle insurance.
Issue: The 2017 provincial budget introduced $908 million in tax increases, which included the increase in the PST from 5 to 6 per cent, along with the expansion of the PST to many items.
This is what you told us about the impact of these tax hikes:
• 78% said the PST increase and the expansion of the PST has negatively impacted your business
• 90% said the provincial government should remove the PST from insurance premiums
• 70% said the PST commission should be reinstated
• 90% said that as the province’s finances improve, the PST should be reduced
Action: That’s why we launched an aggressive campaign and thanks to 1,300 business owners like you, who took the time to sign our petition, we delivered them to the Minister of Finance. We told the provincial government our #1 tax cut recommendation was to remove the PST from insurance premiums.
CFIB welcomed this decision and issued a news release: Small businesses commend Premier's decision to remove the PST from insurance premiums; 90% of Sask entrepreneurs support this decision. In fact, Premier Moe thanked CFIB and said our input was why the Govt made this decision: “Input & constructive advice from Saskatchewan job creators, taxpayers was key in decision to restore PST exemption on crop, life, health insurance.”
The exemption covers agriculture, which includes crop, livestock and hail insurance premiums, as well as individual and group life and health insurance premiums. Health includes disability, accident and sickness insurance. The exemption is retroactive to August 1, 2017, the date PST was applied to insurance. The change will provide $65 million in tax relief for 2017-18 and $120 million in tax relief for 2018-19. The Ministry of Finance will work with the insurance industry to determine the best way to refund individuals and businesses that have paid PST on agriculture, life and health insurance premiums. More information about how the refunds will be administered will be available by April 10.
Next Steps: We plan to meet Premier Scott Moe on March 8th and will urge the province to provide additional tax relief in the upcoming Saskatchewan Budget by also removing the PST from other insurance products such as property and vehicle insurance and reinstating both the PST commission and the indexation of the Personal Income Tax (PIT) system.