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The Alberta director of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business says property taxes on small businesses in Alberta need to be looked at. (CBC)

A business advocate group says tax rates levied on small businesses in Alberta are inequitable and unfair.

Richard Truscott, Alberta director of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, said its annual report on property taxes in Alberta shows the tax system is squeezing small businesses dry — and the widest gap is in Calgary.

"It makes no sense whatsoever to be levying the same property taxes on Ed's shoe repair as Encana."

He said it’s a myth that businesses consume more municipal resources than residential properties.

"We have a situation here in Calgary where a small business is paying five times what a resident does, based on the same assessed value of the property," he said.

"That's something that needs to change, and if you look at the services that are being received by small business, they're not receiving five times the level of service — nothing even close to that."

CFIB is circulating a petition asking city hall to help ease the property tax burden on small businesses.

Lisa Genovese, who owns BottomLine Marketing, says she sold her last business because of the high property tax.

"I work with small businesses everyday and I tell anyone who thinks about having an office, I say, ‘Do you really need an office, can you be virtual, can you be mobile,’ because the additional cost of having a space, it's ludicrous," she said.