If the budget put forward by Jim Prentice and the PC party becomes law, Alberta will be the first province in Canada to put a heavier tax burden on charitable giving.
Budget 2015 slashes the tax credit for Albertans who give to charity by 39 per cent, from 21 per cent to 12.75 per cent. At a time many churches, food banks and non-profits are suffering and pinching every penny, this is a cruel budgetary move that will directly impact those who need a hand up in communities across Alberta.
The reality is, when the tax credits were introduced, it encouraged those who donate to give more, and give more frequently. It’s led to Alberta being the most generous province in Canada.
But now it looks like Mr. Prentice expects Albertans to give more with less.
The impacts will be far reaching.
Do you take some of your own hard earned money and give it to a local charity? You get a tax hike. Do you give to your local humane society? You get a tax hike. Do you tithe or give to your local church? Well, you get a tax hike too.
By eliminating this tax break Jim Prentice and the PC Party of Alberta will take more money from the most generous Albertans and give it to a government that has a questionable track record of financial responsibility.
If you think that’s bad, it gets worse.
While Jim Prentice and the PCs have failed to look out for charity, they have no problem continuing to look out for politicians. Budget 2015 left the tax credit for donating to politicians intact. For the first $200 given to a political party, an individual receives a 75 per cent tax credit. When you compare that with the 12.75 per cent that is left for those who give to charity, it is easy to see where the PC party’s priorities lie.
And worst of all, this measure is only going to save the government $90 million in a $48.4 billion budget. It will do nothing to solve the deficit, but it will download costs to charitable organizations, and increase the tax burden for the most generous Albertans. It is a bad idea, and poor public policy.
This move motivated a group of concerned Albertans to start a grassroots movement called albertans4giving.ca. This website has helped spread the word about a tax increase the government has tried to keep under the radar.
The website has a petition where Albertans can stand up and work to protect our charities. If you agree that we don’t need to slash tax credits for our most generous, please go there and sign the petition.
And if you have a politician come to your door and ask for a vote, ask them where they stand on the idea of slashing the tax credit for giving to charity. You could get a good idea of the sort of person your local candidate is, and their commitment to a vibrant charitable sector.
Albertans 4 Giving