April 21st, 2022

NSNDP proposes tax break for seasonal tourism operators

HALIFAX-- The NSNDP will re-introduce legislation that would help seasonal tourism operators by creating a tax break if they want to extend the time of year they are open. The bill would create a pilot project that would allow businesses to open year-round or further into the shoulder season without any increase in property taxes.

“As we continue to deal with waves of COVID-19 it’s important that the Houston government target support towards businesses and sectors that have been especially hard hit by the pandemic,” said NDP Economic Development spokesperson Claudia Chender. “Local businesses that traditionally rely on tourists are now facing their third season impacted by COVID-19. This kind of targeted tax break would allow them to stay open longer and will help increase revenue and employment opportunities.”

The last two years have been especially tough on small, independent tourism operators. The current sixth wave of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia has already raised concerns about this year’s tourism season. This pilot project would allow more businesses to operate later into the fall.

“This policy adjustment would allow tourism businesses to stay open longer without penalty,” said Darlene Grant Fiander, President of the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia. “Addressing seasonality will be an important element of rebuilding the Nova Scotia tourism economy.”

Tourism revenue in Nova Scotia was only about $1 billion in 2020 and 2021 compared to $2.6 billion in 2019.