Heather Homes

Finance Minister and Antigonish MLA Randy Delorey delivers balanced budget

Nova Scotia’s Liberal government is bringing in a broad middle class tax cut as it tables a 2017-18 budget with a $25.9 million surplus, seeding the ground for what many believe is an imminent election call.

The surplus in the $10.5-billion budget means back-to-back surpluses for the government despite finishing fiscal 2016-17 with a $129-million spending spree.

The government is pledging to reduce taxes by an average of $160 for more than 500,000 Nova Scotians by increasing the basic personal exemption by up to $3,000 for taxable income up to $75,000 beginning Jan. 1 of next year.

As a result, an additional 60,000 people will no longer pay provincial income taxes.

A local highlight that was announced yesterday invlolves the twinning of highway 104:

Delorey also mentioned the possibIlity of removing tolls on the Cobequid Pass. The government is looking at their options for this section of highway, including removing the toll for Nova Scotia drivers, and deciding on out of province and truck drivers at a later date.