calgary-thumb-1.png
calgary-thumb-1.png This article is more than 7 years old

Close to half of Albertans now say they want to raise corporate taxes

It could be time for Corporate Alberta to shoulder some responsibility and pony up. A new poll looking at Alberta’s shifting political landscape found that two-thirds of Albertans favour some form of tax increase — over more cuts and layoffs — to manage the province’s budget deficit, according to the Calgary Herald. And 44% of […]

It could be time for Corporate Alberta to shoulder some responsibility and pony up.

A new poll looking at Alberta’s shifting political landscape found that two-thirds of Albertans favour some form of tax increase — over more cuts and layoffs — to manage the province’s budget deficit, according to the Calgary Herald.

And 44% of those polled said they specifically favour raising corporate taxes (with a marginal rate of 10%, Alberta’s corporate tax rate is currently the lowest in Canada).

But another 17% favoured introducing a provincial sales tax and 5% wanted to see a personal income tax hike. Taken together, 66% favour solving the budget deficit by increasing revenues, whereas only 25% of Albertans want to clawback public services and layoff public sector workers by way of spending cuts.

alberta-taxes-poll.png

The same poll also found Alberta’s Progressive Conservatives have taken a 14-point nosedive in the polls — something Premier Jim Prentice blamed on the PC’s new budget tabled last week. The poll found half of respondents disapproved of the budget (with 35% saying they “strongly disapproved”).

It also didn’t help that Prentice recently told Albertans to “look in the mirror” and suggested “everyone is going to have shoulder some of the responsibility” — everyone except corporations, evidently.

Alberta’s Finance Minister Robin Campbell described raising the corporate tax rate as “penny wise and pound foolish,” arguing that corporate tax increases will lead to more layoffs while “the current corporate and small business tax rates will create more business.”

But that claim is disputed by critics.

UBC economics professor Kevin Milligan told the Edmonton Journal that, while Alberta’s economy is “sensitive,” increasing the corporate tax rate by “a point or two would not be the end of the world” and would not have the “massive impact” on the economy suggested by Campbell.

It’s estimated that raising Alberta’s corporate tax rate by 1% would generate $300-400 million dollars in new revenue for the province. And the Alberta Federation of Labour points out that when British Columbia raised its corporate tax rate to 11% in 2013, the province generated $250 million in new revenue while creating more than 12,000 jobs at the same time.

“Prentice is more interested in maintaining low taxes for his corporate buddies than maintaining quality front-line services in health care and education,” Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour, said in a statement. “This is a budget that will hurt everyday Albertans, and it doesn’t spread the burden by increasing corporate taxes.”

The AFL notes that, in addition to introducing user fees for services, the Alberta budget will slash $1.9 billion in public services — leading to 2,000 public sector layoffs, largely in health care.

Photo: MSVG. Used under Creative Commons license.

Our journalism is powered by readers like you.

We’re an award-winning non-profit news organization that covers topics like social and economic inequality, big business and labour, and right-wing extremism.

Help us build so we can bring to light stories that don’t get the attention they deserve from Canada’s big corporate media outlets.

 

Donate
PressProgress
PressProgress is an award-winning non-profit news organization focused on uncovering and unpacking the news through original investigative and explanatory journalism.

Most Shared

3906strike

Doug Ford is Looking to Cut Costs in Healthcare Staffing, Documents Show

Related Stories

McMaster University Working ‘Very Aggressively’ to Break CUPE Strike, Union Says

View the post
News

Far-Right Group Opposed to 2SLGBTQ+ Resources in Schools Protested BC Drag Queen Story Time Event

View the post
Analysis

Court Strikes Down Doug Ford’s Bill 124: Not ‘Justified’ In a ‘Free and Democratic Society’

View the post

Explainers

Human rights & inclusion

Amira Elghawaby

Here’s The Problem With Hoping Corporations Will Be Socially and Environmentally Responsible On Their Own

View the post
Politics & strategy

Jeremy Appel

The battle of the PACs in Calgary’s municipal election

View the post
Politics & strategy

Jeremy Appel

27 Different Candidates are Vying to be Calgary’s Mayor. Here Are the Biggest Issues at Stake.

View the post
Newspapers always have a business section – why not a labour section? We’ve launched a free newsletter covering labour issues in Canada.
Get Canadian Labour News You Won't Find in Corporate Newspapers.
We’ve launched a free newsletter covering labour issues in Canada.
Get Canadian Labour News You Won't Find in Corporate Newspapers