If a carbon tax is implemented, 79% want it to be truly revenue neutral
CALGARY – The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) today released new survey data that shows Alberta’s entrepreneurs believe there will be major negative impacts on their business when the carbon tax takes effect.
Eighty-six per cent said it would increase their operating/input costs, 85 per cent stated it would reduce their profitability, 66 per cent believed it would increase pressure to freeze/cut salaries, while 59 per cent said it would cause them to delay investments inside their business (e.g. employees, equipment).
“Clearly, in the minds of business owners, the cost of the carbon tax will cause a lot of pain. Benefits of the one point reduction in the small business corporate income tax rate will be relatively modest. If businesses are not profitable, they are not paying small business corporate taxes but are still on the hook for the carbon tax. This is in addition to the flood of other government mandated costs and regulations that will be hitting small business owners in the next couple of years,” said Amber Ruddy, Alberta Director.
Business owners were also asked: Should all revenues generated from carbon pricing be revenue-neutral (i.e. all revenue generated must go toward tax reductions)?
Seventy-nine per cent agreed (65 per cent strongly agreed, 14 per cent somewhat agreed), while 13 per cent disagreed (3 per cent somewhat disagreed, 10 per cent strongly disagreed), and 8 per cent were undecided.
“With Alberta still struggling through the worst recession in a generation, the timing simply couldn’t be worse for the government to take billions out of the economy to spend as they see fit. The concept of ‘revenue-recycling’ belongs in the trash bin, it’s simply a fancy way of saying politicians will spend all of the money collected. Those dollars could be hard at work in small businesses, but instead will be siphoned off for the government’s green pet projects,” concluded Ruddy.
The CFIB survey was a controlled-access, web-based survey of 865 respondents conducted from July 21 to August 29, 2016.
CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members across every sector and region, including 10,000 in Alberta.