The organization challenges Alberta’s taxpayers, entrepreneurs, and business groups to join the cause The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) vowed to fight the introduction of tax hikes in the provincial budget in March, including a new provincial sales tax (PST), and has launched a new campaign to rally Albertans to help defend the Alberta Advantage as the best place in the country to live, work, and run a small business.
“We vow to fight any attempt to hike taxes, and allow the politicians to shift focus away from a more intense review of the spending side of the ledger”, says Richard Truscott, Alberta Director of CFIB in a press release issued on Monday, Jan. 19.
The rallying cry comes amid growing demands by some former politicians, economists, and union bosses for the government to drastically hike taxes in order to balance the provincial budget. Premier Prentice has also said he is open to the idea of big tax hikes.
Truscott adds: “Those who are calling for new taxes are giving little to no consideration about the short-term and long-term impact it would have on Alberta’s consumers and small businesses. It would siphon billions out of the economy into government coffers. It would also allow politicians to wriggle off the hook and not atone for their past fiscal mismanagement. But most importantly, it would be the end of the Alberta Advantage, once and for all.”
In the lead up to the 2014 budget, CFIB asked 1,000 independent business owners across the province: “Should the Alberta Government introduce a PST?”, 94 per cent said no, 4 per cent responded yes, and 2 per cent were undecided. The CFIB is in the process of surveying its members on the latest tax ideas that have been floated.
“The strategy of using stabilization reserves to smooth out the revenue roller-coaster, instead of new taxes, can absolutely work. But it does mean that politicians must control growth in operating budgets to a sustainability benchmark, like inflation plus population growth, and have an effective strategy in place to save more resource revenue. If they don’t have the fiscal backbone, then maybe we need to give it to them through a new spending restraint law,” says Truscott.
“We invite Albertans to join us in the fight to prevent tax hikes in the next provincial budget”, concludes Truscott.