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UCP Tax Cut Hits the Target but Misses the Mark

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7 minute read

Opinion by Cory G. Litzenberger

Well for fear of being lynched, let me talk about how I think the UCP’s Job Creation Tax Cut may be (partially) incorrect.

While I applaud politicians for laying out their plans in advance of an election, my fear is that the plan is too slow in implementation and cuts too far.

I think a tax cut needs to be moderate and quick – not slow and deep.

Here are my thoughts for various tax changes we need to do in Alberta:

General Corporate Income Tax Rate:

Instead of cutting by 1% per year over 4 years, bring it back by 2% to 10% from 12% in the first year and keep it there.

By delaying the cut as the UCP currently proposes, it could reduce the impact it will have on the economy as the change to the bottom line will not be impacted enough for a corporation to make larger investment until year two or three of the plan.

Quicker action by government will result in quicker action by business, resulting in quicker action in the economy and job creation.

10% also still makes us the lowest jurisdiction in Canada.

Personal Income Tax change to 3 brackets:

– 8% for first $50k
– 10% for the next $100k
– 12% for over $150k

This reduction from 10% on the first $50,000 saves roughly $600 in personal income tax (after factoring in the basic personal tax credit) for every individual making more than $50,000 a year.

It also saves 2% for those making under $50,000 currently.

This is an important cut in order to reward people that call Alberta home, as you will see below.

A rich person paying 12% in Alberta on their personal income is better than them paying 0% because they live somewhere else.

Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) 5%

Yes, I think we need to remove the inflationary and regressive carbon tax as it is way too high of a burden and causes a ripple effect in inflationary pricing how it was implemented.

However, I suggest we implement a 5% HST (which is a flow-through for businesses and does not have the same impact on pricing).

Now, hear me out before you break out the yellow vest!

Currently, anyone visiting our province as either a tourist or a temporary worker from another province are using our infrastructure like roads, water, and yes, even hospital emergency rooms.

When these non-Alberta residents file their personal tax returns, they file it based on their home province of residence as of December 31. Since most of them don’t have a permanent residence in Alberta, this results is them paying income taxes to other provinces, while using our infrastructure for free.

Other provincial residents not paying any taxes in Alberta while here unfairly puts the cost on all of us that live here.

If we implemented an HST similar to the GST program, low income households would still receive credit back (just like GST credit) to offset most (if not all) of any HST they pay.

The $600 in income tax savings we mentioned above for everyone else, is equivalent to $12,000 of taxable supplies consumed ($24,000 in a double income household where they each make over $50,000 of income).

Don’t forget that basic grocery and shelter do not have sales taxes, and if Andrew Scheer gets elected, neither will basic home heating.(https://twitter.com/andrewscheer/status/854364648388182016)

This income tax reduction of $600 to $1,200 would offset much of the sales tax you would pay, but would now start to charge non-Alberta resident visitors and workers.

The reason for an HST instead of a PST is that currently, an HST is required to be charged by all GST registrants across Canada. If you are a GST registrant, you are automatically an HST registrant.

For example, in my office in Red Deer, I have to charge my Ontario customers HST and send it in to the government even though my business is in Alberta.

An HST could reduce the potential for tax leakage out of our province by funneling it back to Alberta because of other retailers in other provinces requiring to charge it on things purchased outside of, or shipped to, Alberta.

Results

– a competitive corporate tax rate to attract investment and do it quicker than the original UCP plan;
– low personal income tax to attract wealthy individuals (and their tax residency) back to Alberta to make it their place of residence, again, quickly;
– removal of the inflationary carbon tax;
– insertion of a relatively low cost HST so that we can get back some of that transfer payment money from the residents of other provinces.

In Summary

– Reduce Corporate moderately and quickly.
– Reduce Individual moderately and quickly.
– Remove Carbon tax.
– Implement an HST.

I know that the slight mention of a sales tax in Alberta makes the hair on the back of your neck stand straight up, and for many conservative politicians, they would resign before suggesting it. However, even as a fiscal-conservative tax accountant like myself, I believe that if it is implemented properly with tax reductions elsewhere, it can add to the bottom line for the province.

I also think it can do so without being a burden to those that live here by taxing those that don’t.
———
Cory G. Litzenberger, CPA, CMA, CFP, C.Mgr is the President & Founder of CGL Strategic Business & Tax Advisors; you can find out more about Cory’s biography at http://www.CGLtax.ca/Litzenberger-Cory.html

CEO | Director, Canadian Tax Advisory CGL Strategic Business & Tax Advisors With the Income Tax Act always by his side on his smart-phone, Cory has taken tax-nerd to a whole other level. His background in strategic planning, tax-efficient corporate reorganizations, business management, and financial planning bring a well-rounded approach to assist private corporations and their owners increase their wealth through the strategies that work best for them. An entrepreneur himself, Cory started CGL with the idea that he wanted to help clients adapt to the ever-changing tax and economic environment and increase their wealth through optimizing the use of tax legislation coupled with strategic business planning and financial analysis. His relaxed blue-collar approach in a traditionally white-collar industry can raise a few eyebrows, but in his own words: “People don’t pay me for my looks. My modeling career ended at birth.” More info: https://www.CGLtax.ca/Litzenberger-Cory.html

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Economy

Net Zero Part 4 – IPCC Experts Say Doing Nothing Would Be Less Harmful

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Do you ever feel good when someone won’t tell you how much something costs – something you have to pay for?

No? Me neither.

But, when it comes to the Canadian government’s climate change agenda, and in particular the “Net Zero by 2050” strategy, that is where we are.

It is being forced on Canadians, who will end up paying the bill, but we are not being told what the price is today, or what the price will be tomorrow.

I will continue to dig to find out more. But in the meantime, let me share what an expert on the climate file says about what “doing nothing” would cost.

Yes, doing nothing.

But don’t take my word for it.

President Obama was (and remains) quite outspoken as an alarmist on the issue of climate change, talking often about the impending crisis.

But the former Democratic President’s senior Department of Energy official, Stephen Koonin, has just come out with a most sensible and distinctly non-alarmist perspective. His recently published book, Unsettled, suggests the alarmist climate change narrative is unfounded.

Stephen Koonin served as Undersecretary of Energy in former U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration. A PhD Physicist, he is a smart guy.

Referencing materials from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – an organization that is widely viewed by governments and media as the single most important source for information on climate change – Koonin demonstrates that the science of climate change is anything but settled, and that we are not in, nor should we anticipate, a crisis.

In fact, despite decades of apocalyptic warnings there is in fact remarkably little knowledge of what might happen. Over the last 5 decades of apocalyptic warning, life on earth has dramatically improved as our management of countless environmental challenges has improved.

What the evidence really shows is that as the global economy improves, our ability to deal with whatever mother nature throws at us improves. On that point, Koonin draws attention to what the IPCC experts say about the possible economic impacts of possible climate change-induced temperature changes.

Koonin notes that, according to the IPCC, a temperature increase of 3 degrees centigrade by 2100 – which some scientists say might happen – might create some negative environmental effects, which in turn would cause an estimated 3% hit to the economy in 2100.

But even as it makes these claims, the IPCC further predicts that the economy, in 2100, will be several times the size of the economy today (unless, of course, we interfere with it as the Net Zero by 2050 crowd wants us to do).  In other words, a strategy of doing nothing may or may not mean a temperature increase, the effects of which if bad, are expected to represent a small economic hit to the economy, but that economy will be much, much larger.

In Koonin’s words, this “translates to a decrease in the annual growth rate by an average of 3 percent divided by 80, or about 0.04 percent per year. The IPCC scenarios…assume an average global annual growth rate of about 2 percent through 2100; the climate impact would then be a 0.04 percent decrease in that 2 percent growth rate, for a resulting growth rate of 1.96 percent. In other words, the U.N. report says that the economic impact of human-induced climate change is negligible, at most a bump in the road.”

So this doesn’t sound like a crisis to me. It sounds like a very modest reduction in extraordinary economic growth. So from extraordinary economic growth to slightly less extraordinary economic growth.

Why do I draw attention to this?

Because Canada is pursuing a Net Zero by 2050 target with a whole bunch of policies that will kill economic growth.

The IPCC predicts significant global economic growth without all the things Trudeau and other Net Zero by 2050 advocates are pursuing – massive carbon taxes, additional carbon taxes called clean fuel standards (CFS), building code changes that will make a new home unaffordable, huge subsidies for pet projects, etc. In other words, the IPCC predicts growth without crazy and wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars that will hurt citizens.

So why are we allowing Trudeau and co to pursue these things?

We don’t know the full costs of Net Zero by 2050, but every signal we have is that it is absurdly expensive. AND (thank you Stephen Koonin for making this explicitly clear) the International Panel on Climate Change says ignoring the Net Zero by 2050 target and doing nothing will mean a much bigger economy.

Prime Minister Trudeau and the activists won’t tell you that.

Nor will they acknowledge what the IPCC actually says.

Let’s all applaud Stephen Koonin for trying to do so.

Green activists are driving a radical agenda screaming at us that the science is settled. As courageous scientists like Stephen Koonin note, science is never settled and to say it is settled is irresponsible. The activists say we have to radically change our economy, but don’t tell us how much that will cost – but the IPCC tells us doing absolutely nothing would result in only slightly less economic growth than we would otherwise have.

Governments are spending massive sums of your money on Net Zero by 2050.

Corporate interests commit to this radical agenda and hide behind rhetoric of doing the right thing, while they also seek out government subsidies (which taxpayers will pay for) to meet their absurd Net Zero by 2050 commitments.

All of us, as consumers, will foot the bill.

And none of it needs to happen.

 

Click here for more articles from Dan McTeague of Canadians for Affordable energy

Dan McTeague | President, Canadians for Affordable Energy

 

An 18 year veteran of the House of Commons, Dan is widely known in both official languages for his tireless work on energy pricing and saving Canadians money through accurate price forecasts. His Parliamentary initiatives, aimed at helping Canadians cope with affordable energy costs, led to providing Canadians heating fuel rebates on at least two occasions.

Widely sought for his extensive work and knowledge in energy pricing, Dan continues to provide valuable insights to North American media and policy makers. He brings three decades of experience and proven efforts on behalf of consumers in both the private and public spheres. Dan is committed to improving energy affordability for Canadians and promoting the benefits we all share in having a strong and robust energy sector.

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Environment

Emmy Award Winning Journalist reveals how “fact checkers” punish ‘tone’ even when the facts check out

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When one of media’s most successful journalists is constantly punished by Facebook Fact Checkers it makes for a compelling story all on it’s own.   Does a 19 time Emmy Award Winning Journalist not check his facts?  Well… turns out the facts aren’t the problem.  Enjoy some more revealing insight from John Stossel.

From StosselTV

Before Facebook censored it, my video, “Are We Doomed”, got more 24 million views. You can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8JZo… Now Facebook won’t show it to many people — not even to my subscribers. Facebook’s also punishing Stossel TV by showing our other videos less. All because Facebook foolishly gave Emmanuel Vincent, a recent PhD graduate from France, the power to censor. Vincent assembled a group of like-minded scientists into a group called Climate Feedback climatefeedback.org that declared parts of my video “misleading,” or “partially false.” What facts did the “fact-checkers” correct? NONE! There was not a single hard fact that in the video that was wrong. We address the censor’s claims here, listing our sources: https://www.johnstossel.com/climate-f… I asked one Vincent “reviewer,” the only one willing to be interviewed, why I deserve censorship even though our facts were correct.

After 40+ years of reporting, I now understand the importance of limited government and personal freedom. Libertarian journalist John Stossel is a zealous advocate of free markets, a syndicated columnist and Fox News contributor. Prior to joining Fox, John co-anchored ABC’s primetime newsmagazine show, 20/20. Stossel’s economic programs have been adapted into teaching kits by a non-profit organization, “Stossel in the Classroom.” High school teachers in American public schools now use the videos to help educate their students on economics and economic freedom. They are seen by more than 12 million students every year. Stossel has received 19 Emmy Awards and has been honored five times for excellence in consumer reporting by the National Press Club. Other honors include the George Polk Award for Outstanding Local Reporting and the George Foster Peabody Award.

 

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