If the price of some goods and services seems higher on Saturday, it's no April Fools' prank.
When the sun rises on April 1, so too will the prices of liquor, tobacco, children's clothing, restaurant meals and residential construction.
The changes are among a series of provincial budget tax hikes that take effect on April 1.
Loading up on liquor
On Friday, Saskatchewan residents may have been loading their shopping carts with liquor to beat the markups that kick in on Saturday.
Most beer products will be marked up 6.8 per cent, coolers six per cent, 5.3 per cent for wines and four per cent for spirits.
A spokesperson from the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority said stores around the province did see an increase in customer traffic and sales on March 22 — the day the budget was announced. That was likely due to people thinking prices were going up right away.
Stores were expected to be busy again Friday, but that is usually the case before the weekend.
Revenue from tobacco is expected to bring in $10 million for the province. Incremental revenue from alcohol is expected to bring in another $5 million.
More April 1 PST hikes
There's also a slew of other things that will be taxed starting April 1 that were previously PST exempt, including:
- Restaurant meals and snacks — adding $94.5 million into the province's coffers.
- Children's clothing — bringing in an extra $15.6 million.
Of all the big-ticket items that are, as of April 1, covered by PST, the biggest is construction contracts — whether it's building new structures or renovating and repairing property.
That change is expected to bring another $344.6 million.
PST on insurance premiums comes into effect on July 1.
'A little more than most people expected'
It's usually a busy time of year at Regina's Kids Trading Company, but owner Cecilia Kautzman realizes the rush this year likely has has more to do with the tax coming on children's clothing than the change of season.
"Most people are not too pleased about it," Kautzman said. "Everybody, I think, expected some sort of tax increase but a six per cent increase, specifically on children's items, was probably a little more than most people was expecting."
Kautzman said families will likely be hit the hardest when the weather changes and they stock up on clothes for the new season.
However, Kautzman pointed out that the PST doesn't apply to second-hand items, and will be making sure to mention that to customers at her store.