In her announcement on Monday in Calgary, Notley committed that an Alberta NDP government will eliminate small business taxes for more than 100,000 small businesses, including retail establishments, restaurants, mechanic shops, family farms, and more. She said small businesses are a major economic driver in the province, employing more than one million Albertans.
The small business tax rate in Alberta currently sits at two per cent on the first $500,000 of income generated. The NDP said in a media release that small businesses would save up to $10,000 per year, at an estimated cost of $150 million to the Government of Alberta.
Notley also pledged that the Alberta NDP government would not raise personal income taxes and would not introduce a provincial sales tax.
“Eliminating the small business tax is a bold proposal that will keep local businesses thriving and help owners reinvest in their staff, their products, and their work supporting our economy,” Notley said. “Along with bringing back the STEP program, this announcement makes it clear that Alberta’s NDP is the only party in this election with a plan to support small businesses.”
The NDP says the move is intended to support small businesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the current small business tax rate of two per cent would continue to apply to professional corporations, such as law firms or consulting firms.
Notley stated that at the height of the pandemic, multiple small business owners waited months for promised relief payments or found themselves excluded from the UCP’s Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant.
In April 2021, then-Premier Jason Kenney stated that over $985 million had been distributed to businesses.
READ: Province puts up another $350M in pandemic relief for small business
According to Statistics Canada, there were approximately 159,000 small businesses in Alberta as of 2021, meaning companies who employed fewer than 100 workers.
The Alberta NDP says they have a plan to attract $20 billion dollars in new private-sector investment and create more than 47,000 well-paying, industrial jobs across the province.
On Monday, Calgary-Hays UCP candidate Ric McIver claimed the NDP has instead a high-tax agenda.
“Rachel Notley’s plan to increase taxes on Alberta job creators will kill thousands of jobs and depress the entire economy, just like it did in 2015 — negating any benefit of a small business tax reduction. Under an NDP government, many small businesses would no longer have to pay taxes on profit — because their profits would be gone,” he said in a statement.
“In 2015, the NDP imposed a 20 per cent tax hike on Alberta job creators. This created a job crisis, drove billions in investment out of the province, incited consecutive credit downgrades, and forced families to move out of Alberta for an unprecedented 13 consecutive quarters. Further, the NDP lost more and more business tax revenue, as investment left the province for more competitive jurisdictions across Canada and North America, emptying out our communities.
“Everybody knows that the NDP is the party of high taxes. The UCP is committed to making life more affordable by cutting taxes for all Albertans, including small business owners and their customers — starting with personal income taxes.”