N.B. finance minister says recent surpluses unsustainable, pitches further tax cuts – New Brunswick

New Brunswick Finance Minister Ernie Steeves says cabinet has discussed tax cuts as the province’s project surplus has grown by $100 million over the first quarter.

Stronger than expected revenue growth and large federal transfers have helped to propel large surprise surpluses the last two years in a row, but Steeves says the province is expecting that growth to slow in the next few quarters.

“We do expect this revenue boost to continue in the short term. Even the parliamentary panel up in Ottawa has said short term this is going to work for New Brunswick, (but) long term we have to find some other revenue,” Steeves told reporters on Monday.

After projecting a surplus of $35 million in March’s budget, the province is now expecting a $135.5-million surplus after first-quarter results showed higher than expected HST and personal income tax revenues. Steeves said cabinet is discussing what will happen with the extra money, which could include tax cuts.

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“I want to make it part of the culture of New Brunswick that we are regularly lowering taxes instead of raising them so we are looking at that,” he said.

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