Say goodbye to the Alberta Tax Advantage

Misguided policies eroding Alberta’s tax advantage

Say goodbye to the Alberta Tax AdvantageBy Steve Lafleur and Ben Eisen The Fraser Institute Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci recently told a business audience that Alberta has the “lowest taxes overall of any province or territory” in Canada. A year ago, this was unambiguously true. At that time, Alberta had the lowest overall tax burden in the country and also…

Don’t think top talent responds to higher tax rates?

The evidence suggests higher rates influence where people work and live

Don’t think top talent responds to higher tax rates?By Charles Lammam and Hugh MacIntyre The Fraser Institute In debates about taxes, some scoff at the idea that people actually respond to higher rates by changing their behaviour. This is despite the mountains of economic research showing higher marginal tax rates reduce the incentives for individuals to work hard, expand their skills, invest, and…

Tax policy obstructs growth of Canadian ‘knowledge-based’ economy

Discourages people from engaging in productive economic activity, including in the knowledge based activity

Tax policy obstructs growth of Canadian ‘knowledge-based’ economyBy Charles Lammam Ben Eisen and Hugh MacIntyre The Fraser Institute Governments across the country, both federal and provincial, want Canada to become a knowledge-based economy that attracts and retains the world’s brightest and most talented while ensuring all Canadians realize their full potential. For example, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in his recent Davos speech…

Federal budget looming, and Canadian economy faces troubled waters

Unfortunately, government policies are only making matters worse

Federal budget looming, and Canadian economy faces troubled watersAs the federal budget nears, there’s no question the Canadian economy is not firing on all cylinders. The global economic slowdown coupled with depressed commodity prices is posing real challenges for the Great White North. Unfortunately, government policies are making the economy’s troubled waters even rougher. For instance, media reports suggest the Trudeau government’s first…

B.C. should keep the carbon tax but make sure it’s revenue neutral

Return the tax to true revenue neutrality through income tax cuts rather than gifts to special interest groups

B.C. should keep the carbon tax but make sure it’s revenue neutralBritish Columbia’s climate policy is at a crossroads. The government must decide how to move forward with its signature policy: The revenue neutral carbon tax. The last increase of the tax was July 1, 2012, just over a year into Premier Christy Clark’s tenure. Detractors want to scrap the tax altogether. Many others want to…

Prepare government budgets from a future cost perspective

Weigh public spending on today's programs against how much those programs will cost Canadians in the longer term

Prepare government budgets from a future cost perspectivePersonal budgeting isn't fun. If you spend more than you make over the long haul, it will be your downfall. But do the same rules apply to government budgets? How should we judge a provincial or federal budget? Government budget items must be measured on their benefits to the individual. What we think about each item depends on…

Higher corporate taxes mean lower wages for workers

Governments have to realize that if they increase business taxes, ordinary Canadians pay the cost

With governments across Canada mired in persistent deficits, we have seen a surge of misguided tax increases in an attempt to close budget gaps. Often, the loudest calls are for higher business taxes, given a widely held misperception about who ultimately pays such taxes. Critically, the group that ultimately bears the burden of a tax…

Let’s hold First Nations and unions more accountable

Surely First Nations and union leaders should be held to the same standards as other Canadians

Let’s hold First Nations and unions more accountableAsk a thief why he robs banks and he will often reply because that is where the money is. Most of us are not thieves, but we live in a materialistic society where the desirability of wealth and its trappings are constantly around us. Since earning money takes time and our efforts are not rewarded…

Sugar-coating the truth about soft drink taxes

Canada has an intake issue, but we need a broad labeling initiative, not specific consumption taxes

Sugar-coating the truth about soft drink taxesA study suggesting direct links between a tax on sweetened soft drinks in Mexico and lower consumption is forcefully disputed by the soda industry. It also deflects focus from broader health issues, and better solutions, in Canada and elsewhere. Beverage companies no doubt fear that Mexico could become a trendsetter for other nations, including Canada. For decades,…

Bad economic news just keeps hammering Alberta

The collapse in oil prices aggravated by Notley government’s economically damaging policies

Bad economic news just keeps hammering AlbertaBy Steve Lafleur and Ben Eisen The Fraser Institute The year 2015 was a difficult one for Alberta’s economy. First, the province was hit by a major decline in oil prices. Then, the provincial government introduced a slew of economically damaging policies, tarnishing Alberta’s reputation for providing a pro-growth tax and regulatory environment. These policies…