Most Albertans want big corporations and the wealthy to pay more tax, Vote Compass data shows

Albertans largely see more taxes on big corporations and the wealthy as a favourable solution to help pay down the province's deficit, but definitely don't want to see a sales tax implemented, according to an online survey.

But consider implementing a sales tax to generate revenue? Online survey says no way

Most Albertans want to see corporations and the wealthy pay more taxes, according to Vote Compass. (Graeme Roy/The Canadian Press)

Albertans largely see more taxes on big corporations and the wealthy as a favourable solution to help pay down the province's deficit, but definitely don't want to see a sales tax implemented, according to an online survey.

Fifty-eight per cent of Albertans think wealthier people should pay somewhat or much more in taxes, according to data provided by data from Vote Compass, a tool designed by Vox Pop Labs for CBC News. 

  • VOTE COMPASS | Find out how your views on campaign issues line up with the platforms of Alberta's major parties

Unsurprisingly, that number was much higher (70 per cent) among Albertans who make less than $60,000 per year, and much lower (44 per cent) among those who make more than $150,000.

Fifty-three per cent of respondents also wanted to see large corporations pay more.

But one revenue generator economists have touted as a way to balance the budget proved to be highly unpopular.

When asked if the province should implement a sales tax — it's currently the only province in Canada without one — a resounding 62 per cent of respondents said no way, with only 24 per cent voting in favour. 

(Vote Compass)

Interestingly, that held true even among those intending to vote for the Liberal Party which says it will implement an eight per cent HST while slashing personal income taxes if elected. Support was highest among NDP supporters, but even then only 38 per cent were in favour of a sales tax.

The election's two front-runners have both laid out plans to pull the government out from its current $7.38 billion deficit, with the UCP promising a surplus by 2022 and the NDP promising a balanced budget by 2023.

But Albertans surveyed by Vote Compass were torn on whether or not they'd like to see the deficit reduced by cutting services, with with 46 per cent agreeing and 41 per cent disagreeing.

Those numbers changed slightly when broken down by gender — the majority of men, 55 per cent, said fewer public services are a fine trade-off to see the deficit shrink. But just 37 per cent of women agreed. 

(Vote Compass)

There was also a drastic split based on party support, with most Alberta Party and UCP supporters agreeing and most Liberal and NDP supporters disagreeing. Those supporting another party not mentioned were more evenly divided.

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Developed by a team of social and statistical scientists from Vox Pop Labs, Vote Compass is a civic engagement application offered in Alberta exclusively by CBC/Radio-Canada. The findings are based on 117,209 respondents who participated in Vote Compass from March 20, 2019, to April 9, 2019.

Unlike online opinion polls, respondents to Vote Compass are not pre-selected. Similar to opinion polls, however, the data are a non-random sample from the population and have been weighted in order to approximate a representative sample. Vote Compass data have been weighted by gender, age, education, language and region to ensure the sample's composition reflects that of the actual population of Alberta according to census data and other population estimates.

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