MLA Mark Smith

MLA Mark Smith

MLA Mark Smith: Alberta in the new year

Happy New Year and I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. As we move in to the New Year it is often important to take stock of where we are as people and I believe as a province. If we just look at the past three months we will see that Alberta has welcomed 58,203 new people. This represents a population increase of around 1.3 per cent, the largest growth our province has ever seen.

There are a lot of reasons why people are flocking to Alberta right now: an abundance of good jobs, affordable homes, and a quality of life that is second to none. But our low-tax advantage remains a tremendous draw for families in search of hope, opportunity, and a better life.

Alberta is the only province in Canada without a provincial sales tax. This means big savings for Albertans on vehicles, hockey equipment, clothes, furniture, tools, and so much more. Our lack of a sales tax isn’t just good for families, it’s good for businesses who can lower their overhead and attract customers from other provinces, in addition to Alberta.

According to a new report from the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, Alberta shoppers saved a whopping $184 million over the Christmas shopping season, due to the fact we do not have a sales tax, while shoppers in other provinces paid hundreds of millions more.

“Sometimes I think it can be taken for granted, not having a PST,” said Kris Sims, the Alberta director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. “When we have that savings across Alberta for our shoppers, I think it’s important to point it out because other folks don’t have those savings. I think that’s one of the reasons Alberta has an advantage.”

According to Sims, Albertans’ massive holiday savings broke down to about $80 per person, while the average Ontario shopper paid about $90 more, and the average Quebec shopper paid about $112 more.

Albertans pay the lowest taxes in the country and protecting Alberta’s low-tax advantage is one of our United Conservative government’s top priorities. Premier Danielle Smith even signed a pledge not to implement a sales tax in our province. This is great news for all Albertans, who benefit from our province’s low taxes.

Despite the fact Albertans pay the lowest taxes in the country, all while our economy is booming and our budget is balanced – the NDP have a very different perspective on taxes. They want to raise them, and they’re not shy about saying so.

When the NDP was last in government, one of their first actions was increasing businesses taxes. This turned out to be an ill-advised move, as the NDP took in less and less revenue as jobs, investment, and capital fled the province. Now they are promising to raise business taxes again.

The previous NDP government also implemented a job-killing provincial carbon tax (one they failed to mention in their election platform), which was the largest tax increase in the history of our province. Now they support Justin Trudeau’s plan to increase the federal carbon tax by a massive 300 per cent, which will raise the price of everything from fuel to heat to groceries for all Albertans.

Our United Conservative government cut taxes for families and business, and as a result we’re bringing in more revenue as businesses invest here and families move here. This is the path towards building a strong, resilient, and diversified economy – not raising taxes like the NDP did and wants to do again.

Alberta is back and Albertans can trust our United Conservative government to protect our province’s low-taxes advantage, now and for years to come.

— Mark Smith, MLA for Drayton Valley – Devon

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