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Budget Highlights For The Fiscal Year 200405

first_img TAX CHANGES FOR 2004-05 Third consecutive balanced budget 2003-04 surplus of $14.5 million; higher than projected despite floods, blizzards, and Hurricane Juan 2004-05 surplus of $2.1 million, in addition to the province’s first deposit in its debt retirement fund Nominal GDP forecast to grow to 3.4 per cent in 2004 Steady employment numbers projected for 2004 Federal sources grow $6 million, 0.32 per cent Provincial sources grow $267 million, 8.07 per cent Public education funding up $22 million; per student funding continues to increase Funding for special needs and smaller class sizes in primary and Grade one 89 per cent of Nova Scotia students meet or exceed expectations in literacy, and 81 per cent of students met or exceed expectations in writing Nova Scotia Community College receives an additional $3 million in operating funding Families Provincial credit rating improved Debt retirement plan introduced in legislation — first deposit in debt retirement fund in 2004-05 $6 million in the debt retirement fund and $4 million debt retirement contingency Foreign currency exposure 16.9 per cent — well below target Net direct debt to GDP ratio continues in its positive trend Capital budget $250 million, plus $38 million in capital grants for hospitals Investment in highway up $6 million to $112.2 million, including investment in steel truss bridge program New school construction stands at $45.9 million, and additions and alterations $13.4 million Nova Scotia Community College expansion, $25.5 million in 2004-05; part of $123-million expansion announced in 2003-04 $14-million investment in IT projects, including SAP financials in HAS and completion of the HR payroll/system for the province and school boards Education Community Services budget up $27.7 million; community supports for adults budget accounts for $10.3 million Caseloads under Employment Assistance and Income Support Program continue to decline Increased funding in Early Childhood Development and Affordable Housing Program 10 per cent personal income tax reduction remains in place for individuals with taxable earnings of $29,590 or less; applies to 53 per cent of Nova Scotia taxpayers 96 per cent of Nova Scotia taxpayers will pay less personal income tax in 2004 than in 2003 New personal income tax bracket added for high-income earners: taxable earnings $93,000 and above, tax rate 17.5 per cent Large corporations tax increases from 0.25 per cent to 0.3 per cent; applies to 1,400 of Nova Scotia’s largest corporations, effective April 1, 2004 Corporation capital tax on financial institutions increases from 3 per cent to 4 per cent; applies to banks and trust companies, effective April 1, 2004 Small business tax threshold implemented a year early; threshold increased to $300,000, effective Jan. 1, 2005 PAYING DOWN THE DEBT -30- NOTE: For further 2004-05 budget information, see the Departmentof Finance website at www.gov.ns.ca/finance . INVESTING IN PRIORITIES Health ADDRESSING THE INFRASTRUCTURE DEFICIT Health budget increases $230 million; Office of Health Promotion budget increases $3.6 million Total health-care budget at $2.36 billion Seniors living in nursing homes will no longer pay for their medical costs effective Jan. 1, 2005; seniors’ contribution based on income not assets Funding for long-term care beds, Pharmacare, ERs, orthopedics, Provincial Wait Time Project, Pediatric Rehabilitation Program, and Maritime Genetics Program Hospitals receive $78.5 million more; medical payments are up $85.6 million; Long Term Care up $ 24.1 million STEADY ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE … STRONG PROVINCIAL REVENUESlast_img

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