Better services, fairer taxes

Public Interest Alberta and the Parkland Institute say it’s time Albertans talked about how the province could better fund public services and make its tax system fairer by getting rid of its flat tax system and switching to a progressive tax system.

Public Interest Alberta and the Parkland Institute say it’s time Albertans talked about how the province could better fund public services and make its tax system fairer by getting rid of its flat tax system and switching to a progressive tax system.

Bill Moore-Kilgannon, executive director of Public Interest Alberta, said it’s a myth that cutting income tax is a priority for all Albertans.

He said a recent poll by Environics showed only four per cent of people across the Alberta say the province needs to cut taxes.

“People who tend to vote for the Conservative party and the Wildrose party tend to have as their top priority more investments in public services.

“Very few of those people say we need to cut taxes,” Moore-Kilgannon said at a forum held at the Red Deer Public Library on Wednesday night.

The Red Deer event was the fifth “Alberta Could” forum held across the province about how low and middle income earners pay a higher percentage of the total tax bill compared to higher income earners.

“If you earn a million dollars in Alberta, you love the flat tax,” Moore-Kilgannon said.

Compared to Ontario, someone earning a million in Alberta is paying about $74,000 less in taxes, he said.

Alberta Could proposes that an additional $2 billion could be raised for public services if there was a 13 per cent tax on people earning over $100,000, 15 per cent on income over $150,000, and increasing corporate taxes to 12 per cent, the same corporate rate in Saskatchewan.

Alberta’s current flat tax rate is 10 per cent for all Albertans, as well as a 10 per cent corporate tax rate. Alberta is the only province without a progressive tax system.

“If we had the entire tax system of B.C., we would bring in an additional $11.6 billion. If we had the same tax system as Saskatchewan, we would bring in $12.7 billion.”

Moore-Kilgannon would like to see the three PC leadership candidates tell Albertans how they would address the province’s revenue issues.

He said financial contributions to leadership campaigns from corporations or high income earners makes it less likely that candidates will talk about a progressive tax.

For more information visit www.AlbertaCould.org.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

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