The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is giving the Alberta NDP’s plan to hike taxes a “failing grade,” with Alberta Director Kris Sims calling it a “reckless thing” to do in a province that’s booming and hiring thousands of people.
The NDP released a costed economic platform on Tuesday, which forecasts a $3.3-billion surplus over three years, including an increase to the corporate tax rate from 8% to 11% to increase revenue.
The CTF says revenue collected by the government from the business tax is actually increasing under the lower tax rate introduced by the United Conservatives.
“People are flocking here in record numbers to work hard and pay lower taxes, this huge NDP tax hike would be a scarecrow for entrepreneurs,” Sims said.
Alberta is forecasted to pull in $6.4 billion from the business tax in 2022-23. That’s an increase from the $4.8 billion that the government collected in business tax back in 2018-19 when the tax rate was 12%.
In 2015, former Alberta NDP premier Rachel Notley increased taxes on job creators by 20%. Under the UCP, the Alberta business tax became the lowest in the country at 8%, creating an environment that welcomed $729 million in venture capital investment last year.
UCP candidate Brian Jean says Notley’s proposed increase will kill jobs, just as Notley did while serving as premier.
“Albertans deserve better and last time Rachel’s NDP increased taxes like this, Albertan businesses fled the province for 13 consecutive quarters, investors looked the other way, and our revenue plummeted,” he said Tuesday.
The NDP also pledged to drop the small business tax rate down to zero, matching the rate in Saskatchewan.
The small business tax rate in Alberta currently sits at two per cent on the first $500,000 of income generated. The NDP said in a media release that small businesses would save up to $10,000 per year, at an estimated cost of $150 million to the Government of Alberta.
“By cutting the small business tax to zero, the Alberta NDP is looking out for the little guy,” Notley said Monday.
Sims said that’s the right move, but added that the NDP are poking a “huge hole” in the economy by hiking the general business tax.
“The government should cut taxes on all job creators to keep Alberta booming,” she said.
The NDP’s plan also focuses on addressing the health-care crisis, investing in education by hiring more teachers and educational assistants, and lowering the cost of living by reducing utility bills and freezing personal taxes.
Albertans head to the polls on May 29.