UCP leader Danielle Smith announced on Wednesday that if re-elected, her government’s first piece of legislation would be a bill to ensure that no government can increase personal taxes or taxes on job creators without a referendum.
The proposed Bill 1, The Taxpayer Protection Amendment Act, would expand on the act’s current protection against a provincial sales tax.
“While the United Conservative Party is running on our record of successes, Rachel Notley is running away from hers,” Smith said.
“The UCP lowered taxes, balanced the budget, and attracted billions of dollars of investment—creating tens of thousands of new jobs across a growing number of industries.”
UCP leader Danielle Smith is in Calgary today to announce that a re elected UCP government’s Bill 1 would ensure that no gov can increase personal taxes or taxes on job creators without a referendum. #abpoli pic.twitter.com/qvJzFo2LiO— Rachel Emmanuel (@Emmanuel_Rach) May 24, 2023
Smith did not, however, commit to including the carbon tax in proposed Bill 1, ensuring that the provincial government would be forced to seek approval from Albertans through a referendum before imposing such a tax, in the case that the federal government’s tax is scrapped.
Instead, she said her government is committed to fighting to eliminate the carbon tax. She also said her government has been asking Ottawa to stop increasing the carbon tax.
“Rachel Notley has not stood up for Albertans on this issue,” Smith said “And I think that goes to the credibility of Rachel Notley when she says that she cares about affordability.’
I asked Danielle Smith whether her gov would include the carbon tax in Bill 1 so that a provincial gov couldn’t impose a carbon tax without a referendum if the fed’s carbon tax is ever scrapped.— Rachel Emmanuel (@Emmanuel_Rach) May 24, 2023
Smith does not commit to it, but says her gov is fighting against the carbon tax. pic.twitter.com/QvUJQuLOjg
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) Alberta Director Kris Sims said using the Taxpayer Protection Act as a shield against a provincial version would be a very good move.
“The carbon tax is unaffordable and it’s set to triple within the next seven years,” she wrote on Twitter.
“Some day, Trudeau’s carbon tax will be scrapped.”
Last week, the Alberta NDP released a costed economic platform which forecasts a $3.3-billion surplus over three years. It also included a nearly 40% increase to the business tax rate from 8% to 11% to increase revenue.
The proposal would result in Alberta shedding 33,700 jobs and an investment loss of $1.1 billion, according to economist Jack Mintz with the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy.
The CTF gave the Alberta NDP’s plan to hike taxes a “failing grade,” with Sims calling it a “reckless thing” to do in a province that’s booming and hiring thousands of people.