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

  • How one note from Lady Gaga told the story of Joe Biden's inauguration

    World News CBC News
    Sometimes, music tells a story more succinctly than a speech, and on Wednesday, Lady Gaga managed to capture the message of Joe Biden's inauguration, and the span of American history, in just one note. It lasted four soul-stirring seconds, deep into a performance of the U.S. Source
  • Proud Boy organizer from Florida among latest arrests for U.S. Capitol riot

    World News CBC News
    Two Florida men, including a self-described organizer for the Proud Boys, a far-right extremist group, were arrested Wednesday for taking part in the siege of the U.S. Capitol earlier this month, authorities said. Joseph Biggs, 37, was arrested in central Florida and faces charges of obstructing an official proceeding before Congress, unlawful entry and disorderly conduct. Source
  • New White House press secretary holds 1st briefing this evening

    World News CBC News
    U.S. President Joe Biden's new press secretary has scheduled the new administration's first White House press briefing for Wednesday evening. Jen Psaki said meeting with the news media on Day One was a symbol of the administration's commitment to transparency. Source
  • COVID-19 variant identified at Barrie, Ont., long-term care home where 19 residents have died

    Canada News CTV News
    BARRIE, ONT. -- A COVID-19 variant has been identified in six swab tests done at Roberta Place in Barrie, Ont., where an outbreak has claimed at least 19 lives. Since the health unit declared an outbreak at the long-term facility, cases have exploded, with 122 residents, 69 staff, and two visitors testing positive for COVID-19. Source
  • Director out at Ontario hospital after vaccine queue jumped

    Canada News CBC News
    A director at the Headwaters Health Care Centre (HHCC) in Orangeville, Ont. has retired after having a family member vaccinated during a clinic intended for hospital staff, physicians and local healthcare workers. The "unfortunate incident" happened during a vaccination clinic held by Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health on Jan. Source
  • How Biden's COVID-19 plan differs from Trump's

    World News CTV News
    TORONTO -- The inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden doesn’t just mark the end of Donald Trump’s presidency but it also signals a new direction in the effort to end the COVID-19 pandemic in America. To political and health experts critical of Trump’s response, the twice-impeached president’s pandemic action plan was one of inaction that led the country to world-leader status in deaths and infections. Source
  • Hamilton city councillor got racist, threatening messages after deadly U.S. Capitol riot

    Canada News CBC News
    A city councillor in southern Ontario says her office received two racist, threatening voice messages from a Hamilton man days after the attack at the U.S. Capitol that killed five people. Hamilton city councillor Nrinder Nann (Ward 3) revealed details of the hateful messages during a council meeting on Wednesday — the same day Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were sworn in as U.S. Source
  • The youngest poet to read at a U.S. presidential inauguration had dreams of this day

    World News CBC News
    In one of the inauguration's most talked about moments, poet Amanda Gorman summoned images dire and triumphant Wednesday as she called out to the world "even as we grieved, we grew." The 22-year-old Gorman referenced everything from Biblical scripture to the musical Hamilton, and at times echoed the oratory of John F. Source
  • Kamala Harris makes history as first woman of colour to take the oath of U.S. vice-president

    World News CBC News
    U.S. Vice-President Kamala Harris broke the barrier Wednesday that has kept men at the top ranks of American power for more than two centuries when she took the oath to hold the nation's second-highest office. Harris was sworn in as the first female vice-president — and the first Black person and person of South Asian descent to hold the position — in front of the U.S. Source
  • U.S. President Joe Biden's full inauguration speech

    World News CBC News
    Here is the full text of the inaugural address, delivered by U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday. Chief Justice Roberts, Vice-President Harris. Speaker Pelosi, Leader Schumer, Leader McConnell, Vice President Pence, and my distinguished guests, my fellow Americans, this is America's day. Source