Tax, regulatory review takes off

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Laurel Broten, a public policy expert and former senior cabinet minister in Ontario, will lead the Nova Scotia Tax and Regulatory Review: Charting a Path for Growth.

 Broten, supported by a team of senior public servants at Finance and Treasury Board, Policy and Priorities, and other government departments, will examine Nova Scotia's tax system and regulations. Broten will make tax and regulation recommendations to position Nova Scotia to deal with its demographic, fiscal and economic challenges.

"We're moving ahead with our promise to Nova Scotians to take a close look at taxes, fees and regulations based on the principles of fairness, sustainability, simplicity and competitiveness," said Diana Whalen, Minister of Finance and Treasury Board  in a media release. "Our goal is to have a tax and regulatory system that supports private sector growth and economic development."

"We're so fortunate to have Ms. Broten to lead this review. She brings government and private sector experience as well as a national perspective. This will help shape the future direction of the province she now calls home."

The Nova Scotia tax system has been developed over many years. It has never been evaluated or updated in a comprehensive way. The review will look at the impact of taxes, fees and regulations and what changes would improve Nova Scotia's economic and business climate.

"The most challenging issues for small business owners across this province are taxes and regulations," said Jennifer English, senior policy analyst for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. "We're supportive of a comprehensive approach to reviewing these two priority areas, and look forward to participating actively throughout the process to represent small business owners' views."

Over the next several months, Ms. Broten will consider best practices and examine tax arrangements and success stories in other jurisdictions. She will also consult with local, national and international experts, academics, business and sectorial groups, government departments, and other organizations and think tanks.

"I have met with the team and we have already started exploring what is, and what is not, working in other jurisdictions," said  Broten. "Over the next few weeks we will fine tune our plan and dive deep."

 Broten has served in numerous senior roles in the Ontario government, including Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Education, Environment, and Children and Youth Services and vice-chair of Treasury/Management Board. She has developed a variety of strategies in areas including domestic and sexual violence, air quality and climate change, child-care and child welfare services as well as medical professionals.

The tax and regulations review, which will include a plan for change to Nova Scotia taxes, fees and regulations, will be delivered by  Broten this fall.

For more information and to offer thoughts and ideas, people can visit www.novascotia.ca/finance and e-mail taxreview@gov.ns.ca .

Organizations: Finance and Treasury Board, Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Children and Youth Services Management Board

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Nova Scotians, Ontario

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