Calgary

Provincial sales tax: majority of Albertans opposed, poll finds

A new poll suggests a majority of Albertans are against the idea of bringing in a provincial sales tax.

Survey says only 9% favour a PST to make up for lost oil revenue

A new poll suggests a majority of Albertans are against the idea of bringing in a provincial sales tax.

The poll by Mainstreet Technologies found that 73 per cent of Albertans disapprove of introducing a PST to make up for the revenue shortfall created by slumping oil prices.

Forty three per cent said the province should cut spending to confront the looming deficit.

Hiking user fees and taxes on alcohol and tobacco was the preferred policy option of 22 per cent of respondents.

"The problem is that sin taxes and increased user fees will not be enough to balance the budget,” said Quito Maggi, president of Mainstreet Technologies.

“When we looked at how Albertans want the premier to deal with the upcoming budget the most popular idea was to cut spending — but there just isn’t much to cut.

“This really places the PC government and the opposition parties in a tough bind. A PST has the most potential to raise revenue but Albertans are firmly opposed.”

Last week Premier Jim Prentice said he doesn’t like the idea of a provincial sales tax but that he wanted to start a discussion about it.

Mainstreet Technologies is a national public research company.

The telephone poll surveyed a random sample of 3,184 Alberta residents on January 18.

The margin of error (MOE) for Calgary was 2.85 per cent, 19 times out of 20. In Edmonton the MOE was plus or minus 3.04 per cent and for the rest of Alberta it was 3.16 per cent, the firm said. 

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