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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Might be a good time to quit: The price of smokes just went up

Nova Scotia government raises tobacco tax in new budget.

Posted By on Wed, Apr 20, 2016 at 4:00 AM

click to enlarge Smoking is bad for you. - VIA ISTOCK
  • via iStock
  • Smoking is bad for you.

If you still want to pack the darts, save your change. The price of cigarettes in Nova Scotia just went up.

Effective Wednesday, April 20, the cost of a single smoke is up by two cents, or about 50 cents extra a pack. The cost of a carton of 200 cigarettes will increase by four dollars.

The change was the only tax increase announced in Nova Scotia’s just-released budget. This augmentation of the tobacco tax (along with a four percent tax hike on cigars) is projected to generate an extra $15.8 million in provincial revenues.

“This is partially offset by falling demand for cigarettes and fine cut tobacco, projected to decline by 2.2 percent and 6.3 percent respectively,” reads the budget.

Revenue to the Lotteries and Casino Corporation is also expected to increase by $16.4 million in 2016-17. That’s due to “increases resulting from changes in the video lottery business line and increased ticket lottery sales.”

In other health news, the budget plans to commence the multi-year re-development and re-design for the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre. This year will see $3.7 million pumped into that project and the renovations going on at the Dartmouth General.

The downtown Halifax convention centre project, now expected to be complete by February 2017, will bring Nova Scotia $110.3 million in one-time revenue from municipal and federal contributions. That income will be thrown at the province’s debt, as a means of making it easier to borrow the money needed to build a new hospital later down the road. 

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