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OPINION: Competitive tax rate is essential

“The three-point hike in Alberta’s corporate income tax rate is estimated to result in an investment loss of $1.1 billion to Alberta — and an employment loss of 33,700 jobs.

“The three-point hike in Alberta’s corporate income tax rate is estimated to result in an investment loss of $1.1 billion to Alberta — and an employment loss of 33,700 jobs. This is a conservative estimate since I don’t include the impact of corporate tax hikes on available cash needed by businesses to pay their bills… With federal and provincial governments phasing out enhanced capital cost allowances, an additional loss of $2.1 billion in investment and 59,500 existing or potential jobs is estimated, said Dr. Jack Mintz on May 18, 2023

Through the last four years, Alberta has had incredible success attracting world-class businesses to settle in the Edmonton region, many in Sturgeon County. One of the reasons is the corporate tax rate. Currently, we have a corporate tax rate of eight per cent, the NDP have proposed moving it to 11.

In today's economic landscape, the corporate tax rate plays a crucial role in shaping a region's business environment. Alberta, known for its entrepreneurial spirit and robust economy, must recognize the significance of maintaining a balanced corporate tax rate. Profit, when channelled responsibly, drives innovation, economic growth, job creation, and fosters a vibrant business ecosystem. Our region of Sturgeon and St. Albert is a great example of this. We had rarely heard about hydrogen a few years ago, and now we are poised to lead North America in the development of this industry due to research and development.

Alberta has long enjoyed the "Alberta Advantage," attracting investment and entrepreneurs due to its competitive tax policies. A reasonable corporate tax rate creates a favourable environment for businesses to thrive, encouraging capital investment and stimulating economic activity. By striking the right balance, the government can generate revenue for public services while fostering an attractive environment for local and foreign investors.

Maintaining an equitable corporate tax rate is crucial to preserving the province's competitive edge, attracting businesses, and promoting sustainable growth while driving tax revenue for our critical public services. A thriving business sector bolsters government coffers, enabling investments in public infrastructure, healthcare, education, and social programs. When companies succeed, they contribute to the economy by providing employment opportunities, generating tax revenues, and supporting local communities through philanthropic initiatives.

In an increasingly interconnected world, jurisdictions worldwide are vying for investment and talent. A competitive corporate tax rate is essential for Alberta to position itself as an attractive destination for businesses. This competitiveness translates into increased employment opportunities, higher wages, and improved living standards for all Albertans, publicly and privately employed.

Alberta's corporate tax rate is not merely a financial policy but a tool to shape the economic future of the province. A reasonable corporate tax rate ensures the province's competitiveness, attracting businesses and fostering sustainable development. By enabling businesses to reinvest their profits responsibly, we can build a prosperous future for all Albertans. Let us strive for a balanced approach to corporate taxation, one that celebrates profit as a positive force, while ensuring the well-being of society and the environment.

As a small ‘C’ conservative, I hope this election we see through the extreme political rhetoric and give good and careful consideration to our fiscal strategy that drives revenue to our public services.  

Democracy only works when people get off their couches and get involved. Until the moderate middle wake up and activate, we will be subject to extremism versus policy. The word "politics" was derived from the Greek word "politikos," which means "of, for, or relating to the citizens."

Will you as a citizen be represented in this election, or will you just complain later?

John Liston is a partner with Newcastle West Partners, an exit planning and mergers and acquisitions organization; and a St. Albert resident active in our charity communities.


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