The province of Saskatchewan has announced that admission and entertainment purchases will now be subject to a 6% provincial sales tax.
The sales tax will apply to sporting events, concerts, museums, movies, and green fees at golf courses.
The expansion is set to become active on Saturday, October 1 but hasn’t been received well by everyone.
The Saskatchewan Arts Alliance has requested the government reconsider the decision.
In a letter to Minister of Parks, Culture and Sports Laura Ross, the SAA cited the pandemic as being tough on art exhibitions, and the increased tax would only make things harder.
“Frankly … it was somewhat of a disappointment to see the PST expansion be removed for gyms and fitness memberships and not for (arts) admissions and entertainment,” said SAA executive director Em Ironstar.
“The pandemic has been extremely hard on performing arts organizations and festivals and others (within that realm). Organizations are struggling to see audiences come back to pre-pandemic levels.
“We’re doing whatever we can to raise awareness that this PST expansion is negatively impacting arts organizations in our province and we are concerned about the accessibility of the arts for every-day people.”
In response, the provincial Ministry of Finance said in a statement: “The Government of Saskatchewan is implementing PST changes to admissions, entertainment and recreation, as previously announced effective October 1, 2022.
“These changes are being made to improve revenue stability. Changes largely mirror the GST rules that apply in all provinces that have a Harmonized Sales Tax.”