TRURO – Truro Mayor Bill Mills has added his name to a list of supporters calling for provincial fuel tax rebates for the mining and quarrying industry.
Nova Scotia is the only province in Canada that does not apply the rebate to the mining and quarry industries,” Mills said, in his letter to Finance Minister Maureen MacDonald.
“These companies therefore have a more difficult time operating in Nova Scotia and this is costing our province jobs and potential investment.”
Sean Kirby, executive director of the Mining Association of Nova Scotia, said in a news release that the support from Mills places Truro among 10 Nova Scotia municipalities that now have written to the finance minister to ask that the fuel tax rebate be extended to mining and quarrying.
“Municipal governments understand that mining is being treated unfairly and it is costing Nova Scotians jobs,” Kirby said. “The provincial government should extend the fuel tax rebate to mining in the upcoming budget and help us create jobs in the rural areas that so desperately need support.”
Other municipalities include New Glasgow, Amherst, the Town of Antigonish, Antigonish County, Mulgrave, Guysborough, Pugwash, Victoria County and the District of Lunenburg.
The mining association launched its ‘Fuel Tax Fairness’ campaign in October, in an effort to bring that group in line with other resource industries that receive a provincial tax rebate for fuel used in vehicles that do not go on public roads.
Other groups that do receive the rebate include fishing boats, farm tractors and forestry harvesters.
Kirby said the rebate would cost the government approximately $2.6 million per year. Conversely, however, he said the industry provides 6,300 jobs, mostly in rural areas, while contributes $500 million to the province’s economy each year.
Without having the rebate in place, he said, puts those jobs at risk.
“Mining is the highest-paying natural resource industry and one of the highest-paying of all industries in the province.”