Newfoundland and Labrador ends controversial book tax

Readers in Newfoundland and Labrador will no longer have to pay a 10 per cent tax on books.

The controversial tax was first introduced as part of the 2015 austerity budget, and actually wasn’t a direct tax but an end to a 10 per cent provincial government rebate on the harmonized sales tax. 

The book tax, the only one of its kind in Canada, wasn’t well received by the literary community, who argued it sent the wrong message regarding reading and literacy.

Starting Jan. 1, the provincial HST rebate has been reinstated, which means customers who buy books will now pay the same prices they did before the implementation of measures announced in the 2015 budget.

Finance Minister Tom Osborne announced last August that the book tax was being reviewed, and said the province would lose $2.6 million by removing it.

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