How much of the millions and billions bandied about will affect you? If you’re a senior or living on a low income, you’ll get a break. If you smoke, expect a lighter wallet.
• Smokers will pay more as of today. The government is increasing taxes on tobacco by three cents per cigarette — 60 cents per pack, $6 per carton — and six cents per gram of tobacco. The government estimates the tax increase will result in $17 million in new revenue.
• The province is increasing low-income thresholds for individuals and families. For individuals, the tax-reduction threshold — under which a person pays no provincial income tax — will be raised beginning this year from $17,547 to $18,547, with partial reductions for individuals with net incomes up to $22,815. A person with a net income of $20,000 will pay $231 less in taxes in 2014. People on low incomes will also see an increase to the cap for dental services, from $150 to $200 annually.
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For families, the threshold has been raised from a net income of $29,362 to $31,362, with partial reductions for families with net incomes up to $38,006. A family with a household income of $32,000 will pay $463 less in taxes. The government estimates the cost of the changes at $4.5 million, bringing the program’s total annual cost to about $11.1 million.
• The government will continue its 35 per cent reduction for several seniors for several licences and fees, including driver’s licence fees, vehicle registration, and hunting and fishing licences, a program that costs an estimated $3.7 million. The province is also boosting the seniors’ benefit, from a maximum of $971 in 2013 to $1,036 in 2014.