The Government of Alberta is facing economic uncertainty. Premier Jim Prentice addressed the province, in a pricey TV ad that had a campaign-style speech. He said there would be no big budget cuts on Thursday, but the people of Alberta will have to pay a price when it comes to healthcare. Reid Fiest has the details.
- Budget 2015 will invest in the programs and infrastructure Albertans need while holding the line on spending.
- Guided by 10 Fiscal Principles and a matching 10-year vision, Budget 2015 includes five year fiscal and capital plans showing Albertans the long-term approach government is taking. Budget 2015 balances spending restraint with revenue enhancements and will use savings in the Contingency Account to address the province’s fiscal challenge.
The 2015-16 budget tabled Thursday increases taxes and fees virtually across the board and runs the largest deficit in Alberta’s history at $5 billion.
The budget details $1.5 billion in hikes and new levies and outlines a new tax model.
Albertans will no longer be charged a 10 per cent flat tax. Everyone will still pay that much on the first $100,000 of taxable income, but there will be two new tax brackets for anyone earning more than that.
There will be a new refundable tax credit and improvements to existing rules to aid lower-income working families.
Fuel taxes will go up four cents to a total of 13 cents a litre starting Friday, although Alberta still has the lowest fuel taxes in the country.
Traffic fines will rise by an average of 35 per cent. Other increases will hit registration fees, court and land-title searches, marriage certificates and camping costs.
Alcohol taxes are going up by 16 cents for a bottle of wine and 90 cents for a 12-pack of beers as of Friday. Tax on a carton of cigarettes escalates to $45 a carton from $40.