EDMONTON, AB – Premier Jim Prentice’s musings about implementing a regressive sales tax and attacking Alberta’s single-rate tax as being an obstacle to poor and middle income families are inaccurate, will erode the Alberta advantage and hurt all Albertans, Wildrose Finance Critic Drew Barnes said.
Alberta’s large Basic Personal Exemption on personal tax rates means the first $17,787 earned goes untaxed. This leaves Alberta’s income tax rate for low and middle income class earners among the most competitive in Canada, while no sales tax and no health care premiums means low to middle income Albertans are the lowest taxed among Canadian provinces.
“If Mr. Prentice was really serious about protecting the well-being of lower to middle class families, he would focus on ideas like raising the personal exemption, ending wasteful spending and putting an end to his regressive tax talk on a PST and health care premiums, or he would finally scrap school fees,” Barnes said. “The numbers are clear, the record of Alberta’s current tax structure benefits all Albertans from every background. Albertans can be assured that the only way taxes are going are down under a Wildrose government.”
*2015 Combined federal and provincial tax rates, and Health Care Premium Rates. Numbers do not include added costs of extra services and fees in neighbouring provinces such as a sales tax or carbon tax
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The Alberta Family Employment Tax Credit provides an added benefit to low income families by providing a deduction from provincial income rates.
The Wildrose supports Alberta’s single-rate tax as it means a more dynamic and prosperous environment for investment. In fact, the Alberta government generates the highest amount of income tax revenue per-capita across Canada as a result.
Barnes said this latest tax trial-balloon is a further erosion of the Alberta Advantage after this PC government’s record of draining savings, increasing spending and ramping up borrowing for the past several years.
“The record of Alberta’s single-rate tax is a simple one: It attracts investment, encourages growth in the economy, spurs higher wages and results in better revenues for the province,” Barnes said. “Bringing in a sales tax and scrapping Alberta’s single-rate tax will be just another step in destroying the Alberta advantage.”