The GNWT isn’t about to introduce a territorial sales tax, Finance Minister Caroline Wawzonek said Friday.

“I want to confirm that the GNWT is not advancing any initiatives that would see the introduction of a territorial sales tax,” she said in a news release.

“Growing the private sector economy is a key priority for this government, which would not be consistent with the introduction of a sales tax at this time.

Introducing a territorial sales tax is not on the table at this time, said Finance Minister Caroline Wawzonek. file photo

“While a sales tax is one common way that governments raise revenues to fund the delivery of important programs and services, the GNWT believes that the introduction of a sales tax at this time would lead to an increase in the cost of living to NWT residents that would likely offset potential revenue increases and run counter to our efforts to grow the economy.”

Wawzonek’s statement comes a day after Department of Finance spokesperson Todd Sasaki said the Financial Management Board would discuss with MLAs various ways of generating revenue for the government, such as a sales tax, during the next sitting of the assembly, which is scheduled to begin Oct. 15 and to last until Nov. 5.

“While the idea of a sales tax was not deemed to be worth pursuing at this time, the GNWT will continue to examine its revenue and spending options to ensure that we are achieving value for money while continuing to deliver important programs and services to all residents of the Northwest Territories,” Wawzonek said.

Senior Cabinet spokesperson Jeremy Gibson Bird confirmed “we will not be discussing the introduction of a sales tax in any real way, shape or form.”

In her online Budget Dialogues 2020 in July, Wawzonek discussed the issues surrounding the introduction of a sales tax.

The NWT Chamber of Commerce said this week it would oppose any new sales tax.

Blair McBride

Blair McBride covers the Legislative Assembly, business and education. Before coming to Yellowknife he worked as a journalist in British Columbia, Thailand and Ontario. He studied journalism at Western...

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