Northern government seeks tax relief

WHITEHORSE — The price of fuel is beginning to pinch consumers, and remote areas of Canada are getting squeezed the hardest.

As such, the Yukon government is preparing to lobby the federal government to have the GST removed from a few consumer essentials. Following a unanimous vote in the legislative assembly, the Yukon is attempting to have the GST removed from home heating fuel, power generation and on the transportation of essential goods North of 60.

The tax relief effort is designed to help ease the impact of rising fuel prices on the pocket books of northern residents.

“The rising cost of food and of heating our homes is beginning to have a big impact on Canadians, and it’s a larger issue for residents of the North than it is in southern areas,” says Klondike MLA Steve Nordick. “We will approach Nunavut and the Northwest Territories to join us in lobbying Ottawa for tax relief, because eliminating or reducing the five percent GST on fuel and power would greatly help offset the higher than normal cost of living experienced by residents North of 60.”

Along with a GST reduction the government is urging Yukoners to take advantage of existing government programs that will allow them to reduce their fuel consumption and save money.

“There are a number of programs out there to help Yukoners reduce their dependence on fuel. One such program is the Home Repair Program, which allows homeowners to access up to $35,000 in financing at a zero per cent interest rate amortized over 12 years,” notes Jim Kenyon, minister responsible for Yukon Housing Corp. “A second program – the Alternate Energy System Program – provides clients up to $30,000 to install alternate energy systems in their homes.”

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