Alberta tax increases give more leeway to other provinces: bond rater

WINNIPEG -- A bond-rating agency says recent tax increases in Alberta give more leeway to other western provinces to raise their own levies.

See Full Article

Standard and Poor's recently confirmed its AA rating for the Manitoba government. It noted that one of several factors in the decision was the Alberta government's recent tax changes, including a new surtax on higher personal incomes.

"With Alberta changing its corporate and personal income taxation, we believe that tax competition between Alberta and other Canadian provinces, especially those in Western Canada, will decrease, as will constraints on the ability to raise revenues," the agency wrote in a report.

Manitoba's NDP government has already faced public anger over tax hikes, most notably a 2013 decision to raise the provincial sales tax to eight per cent from seven.

Alberta has no provincial sales tax, but the NDP government has revamped its formerly flat 10 per cent income tax rate. It has introduced new surtaxes for high-income earners, starting at $150,000.

Manitoba is musing about new income surtaxes as well, although its existing rates are already above 10 per cent.

Fletcher Baragar, an associate professor of economics at the University of Manitoba, said small differences in corporate or income taxes usually don't mean much in terms of where people choose to live or set up businesses.

But there can be a big public backlash for politicians who raise taxes, he warned.

"I think the constraint has really been a political one -- the perception of that. Part of that perception is heightened by the concern that if the tax rate gets too far out of the park, you're going to lose people, you're going to lose business."

With Alberta raising taxes, Baragar said bond rating agencies feel other provinces will have an easier time, politically, raising their own taxes if need be to meet budget targets.

Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger said while his government has raised some taxes, it has lowered others, such as the education property tax for seniors and the small-business income tax rate.

"We're always looking at ways to make sure Manitobans can have an affordable cost of living and that we can grow job opportunities in the province," the premier said in a year-end interview.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Quebec reports 877 new cases of COVID-19, 12 more deaths

    Canada News CTV News
    MONTREAL -- Quebec health authorities reported 877 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the total number of cases in the province since the start of the pandemic to 95,216. Health officials also removed 90 older cases from the provincial toll on Tuesday after coming to the conclusion that those tests were false positives. Source
  • Const. Daniel Montsion not guilty in death of Abdirahman Abdi

    Canada News CBC News
    Ottawa police Const. Daniel Montsion has been found not guilty of manslaughter, aggravated assault and assault with a weapon in connection with the 2016 death of Abdirahman Abdi. Abdi, a 37-year-old Black man, died following a confrontation with Ottawa police on July 24, 2016. Source
  • Trump says Fauci is 'terrific guy' but not 'team player'

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- A day after claiming that the American people are tired of listening to Dr. Anthony Fauci, U.S. President Donald Trump insisted Tuesday that he gets along with the nation's top infectious disease specialist while also complaining the doctor who has clashed with him at times over the coronavirus is not a "team player. Source
  • U.S. Justice Department files antitrust lawsuit against Google

    World News CBC News
    The United States Justice Department on Tuesday sued Google for antitrust violations, alleging that it abused its dominance in online search and advertising to stifle competition and harm consumers. The lawsuit marks the government's most significant act to protect competition since its groundbreaking case against Microsoft more than 20 years ago. Source
  • Ontario records another significant spike in new COVID-19 cases

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Ontario is reporting another spike in the number of new COVID-19 cases, recording more than 800 new infections. Health officials confirms 821 new infections on Tuesday, which is a large increase from the 704 cases reported on Monday and 658 on Sunday. Source
  • Ontario extends COVID-19 orders for another 30 days amid second wave

    Canada News CTV News
    Ontario has extended a number of COVID-19 orders until mid-November as the province grapples with the second wave of the disease. In a news release issued late Tuesday morning, the Progressive Conservative government said that the extension will apply to all orders under the Reopening Ontario Act except those that deal with hydro prices and access to electronic personal health information. Source
  • Jordan Peterson returns to Toronto 'in much better health' after treatment in Russia, Serbia

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Controversial Canadian professor and self-help guru Jordan Peterson says he’s back in Toronto and “in much better health” after more than a year treating complications related to drug dependency. In a new video on his YouTube channel, the University of Toronto psychology professor said he started taking benzodiazepines, a class of drugs used to treat anxiety and other disorders, on a doctor’s recommendation in 2017 and “never gave it a second thought. Source
  • Azerbaijan, Armenia say U.S. to host talks over territorial dispute

    World News CBC News
    Armenia and Azerbaijan said on Tuesday their foreign ministers would meet U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington on Friday in efforts to end the heaviest fighting in the region of Nagorno-Karabakh since the 1990s. Source
  • EU takes action against Malta, Cyprus for 'golden passports'

    World News CTV News
    BRUSSELS -- The European Commission launched infringements procedures Tuesday against Cyprus and Malta over their "golden passport" programs, in which wealthy people can acquire EU citizenship in exchange for an investment. The EU's executive said the lucrative schemes are in violation of EU law and undermine the "essence of EU citizenship. Source
  • Garbage truck from Canada to U.S. caught hauling more than 1,000 pounds of marijuana

    Canada News CTV News
    LONDON, ONT -- Roughly 1,000 pounds of marijuana was found inside a garbage truck crossing the border between Sarnia, Ont. and Port Huron, Mich. Officers with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) made the discovery on Sunday at the Blue Water Bridge crossing. Source