- Saskatchewan’s provincial sales tax (PST) base will be expanded in October, according to the budget for 2022-23.
- In addition to declaring the PST on admissions and entertainment, the Saskatchewan government will raise the tobacco tax by two cents per cigarette.
People in the province will soon pay a little more for entertainment and gym memberships.
According to the 2022-23 budget, Saskatchewan’s provincial sales tax (PST) base will be expanded in October.
This means that admission and entertainment charges, such as gym, golf, and curling memberships, will be increased by 6%.
“This is a slap in the face,” said Orangetheory Fitness Canada president Blake MacDonald.
“Rather than being lumped in with smoking and going to a football game, we should be part of the solution.”
The Saskatchewan government will raise the tobacco tax by 2 cents per cigarette in addition to declaring the PST on admissions and entertainment.
The fitness industry is taken aback and ‘outraged.’
According to MacDonald, the fitness industry has already been hard hit by the pandemic due to restrictions.
He claims that his company is only back to 60% of its pre-COVID revenue. Instead of taxing the industry, he believes the government should investigate a fitness tax deduction.
“We’re just a little perplexed by it all,” he said.
“We are still amid the pandemic. The government should consider incentivizing people to take better care of themselves and cut future health-care costs.”
MacDonald cited a report from Dalhousie University’s Agrifoods Analytics Lab from 2021, which found that 42.3 % of Canadians gained weight unintentionally during the pandemic.
He claims that the additional 6% PST will make a difference for Orangetheory Fitness clients.
MacDonald is particularly worried about the message that the province is sending to consumers, especially when some people are still hesitant to go to places like gyms.
He said, “People are scratching their heads.”
“It’s a mind-boggling move for people who are… attempting to look after their health, wellness, and well-being.”
The Fitness Industry Council of Canada (FIC) issued a similar statement on Thursday.
According to the release, the council is “outraged” by the province’s announcement.
“This comes when we’re trying to get people back to the gym, improve Canadians’ health, and increase our levels of physical activity,” Sara Hodson, president of the Fitness Industry Council of Canada, said in a statement.
“Over the last two years, our physical and mental health has deteriorated, and physical activity is critical to reverse this.”
Source: CBC News