Changes to the PST amendment were announced last week for several agricultural sector items, which the province says will make the tax fairer for the industry.
Some of the items included in the exemption were windbreak panels, insulators for electric livestock fencing, and certain farm equipment attached to a licensed vehicle.
Others were also exempt retroactively to 2016 and included items such as water and other liquid storage tanks, adjuvants, portable seed cleaners and farm tractors.
APAS chairman Ian Boxall said he was happy to see the new exemptions.
“I think there were a few that were put in place to take some of the tax burden off of the PST with respect to on-farm grain cleaning, but also on certain products that would be used in the livestock sector, so I was happy to see that the government gave us these exemptions.”
These exemptions will be a boon to cattle ranchers and crop growers, in areas that some say were experiencing “PST drift.”
“It’s panels, power for pumps and fencing. I think that’s an advantage,” Boxall said, “I guess we’ll see at the end of the year how good it is. an advantage, but I think whenever we can get some relief from the tax burden, I think the growers will be happy.”
As for what might be exempt from TVP, Boxall pointed to inputs that have increased significantly as farmers put them into the ground.
“I think the costs, this year the cost of inputs, the cost of parts, is where it all goes. Yes, our raw material prices are good right now, but what happens to all those costs when the raw material prices are starting to come down? I have some concerns about the costs we face this year. When you say 3 or 4 times more for fertilizers and chemicals than what we paid last year, at some point it will become unachievable if it continues.
The Ministry of Finance has announced that it will begin discussions on modernizing the agriculture and livestock section of the PST legislation, which could be considered in future budgets.
If those considerations come to fruition, Boxall says he will make sure Saskatchewan farmers are heard.
“If they organize a consultation on this, we will certainly make our voice heard and ensure that the concerns of our members are heard at this table of the concerns they face.