PST on Halloween would have been scary for Albertans

Author: Kris Sims 2022/10/31


  • People spend about $100 each on Halloween
  • Other provinces hit costumes, candy and decorations with provincial sales taxes


LETHBRIDGE, AB: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is highlighting how much money Albertans are saving this Halloween by not having a PST.

“Trick-or-treaters are saving about $15 million because we don’t have the blood-sucking tax of a PST in Alberta,” said Kris Sims, Alberta Director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. “If we had a PST like other provinces do, fun festivals like Halloween would cost more.”

Retail experts report people spend about $100 on average per person on Halloween, not including alcohol for parties. Purchases include costumes, home decorations, greeting cards, candy and make-up.

The four provinces of Atlantic Canada charge the Harmonized Sales Tax on Halloween stuff, resulting in hauntingly higher costs. The Atlantic Canada has a 10 per cent provincial sales tax. Even if only half the population of Atlantic Canada participates in Halloween, they are paying about $11 million in PST.

The tax bite is less ghastly in Ontario with a PST of eight per cent. If half the population of Ontario participates in Halloween, the government will rake in about $56 million in its provincial sales tax.

Ghosts and goblins in Quebec will pay about $41 million with a provincial tax rate of 9.9 per cent.

Manitoba’s mummies will spool-out about $4.5 million in a Retail Sales Tax of seven per cent.

In Saskatchewan the prairie pumpkin kings will carve out about $3 million in PST at a rate of six per cent.

British Columbia does not claw its candy with a seven per cent PST. Yet.

“We pay a scary amount of tax in Canada, but here in Alberta we can have a happier Halloween knowing that we don’t pay a PST on our fun – let’s keep it that way,” said Sims.


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