Premier Scott Moe reinstated the measure effective yesterday
By Diego Flammini
Saskatchewan producers could receive provincial sales tax (PST) rebates on their insurance premiums later this year.
Premier Scott Moe reinstated the PST exemption, which was part of his Saskatchewan Party leadership pitch, effective immediately. The exemptions also apply to life and health insurance premiums, he announced yesterday.
The exemptions are retroactive to Aug. 1, 2017, the day the PST was added to the premiums. The Ministry of Finance will work with the insurance industry to determine a suitable refund approach.
And the agricultural community is pleased with Premier Moe’s actions.
The refunds “put the money back in the farmers’ pockets and allow them to further invest in their operations,” Ian Boxall, a vice-president with the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan and grain producer from Tisdale, Sask., told Farms.com today.
Refunds will vary based on how much an individual farmer pays for insurance. As some producers spending $100,000 on insurance, the refund could be a significant amount, he added.
And with many farm operations experiencing tight financial margins, any reprieve is appreciated.
“I don’t have an exact dollar amount for how much this exemption will save my farm and family each year,” Megz Reynolds, a grain producer near Swift Current, Sask., told Farms.com today. “But every dollar and cent counts, so this is huge. We are very thankful for this rollback.”
The PST exemption also shows Premier Moe supports agriculture, according to some members of the industry.
“The Saskatchewan Party has listened to its constituents and that holds so much value to me as a voter,” Reynolds said.
“We’re happy the Premier delivered on his campaign promise,” Boxall said. “It shows his commitment to agriculture as an economic driver in the province.”
The financial impact of the PST exemption for the 2018-19 budget is expected to be $120 million, down from a projected $240 million in estimated insurance PST revenue.
But the drop in PST revenue won’t impact the government’s plan to balance the provincial budget by 2019-20, Premier Moe said in a statement yesterday.