Edmonton

Wildrose proposes lower small business tax rate

The Wildrose wants Alberta's NDP government to drop the small business tax from three to two per cent.

Put 'hardcore ideology' aside says Wildrose

Wildrose finance critic Derek Fildebrandt said the NDP has an "ideological need" to raise taxes. (CBC)

The Wildrose wants Alberta's NDP government to drop the small business tax from three to two per cent.

The opposition party plans to introduce this amendment on Wednesday when MLAs discuss Bill 2, proposed legislation to raise the corporate tax rate two percentage points, and reinstate a progressive income tax rate.

"On our present course, the government is doing significant damage to the small businesses that drive our economy," Wildrose finance critic Derek Fildebrandt said in a news release.

"We are hopeful that the NDP will put hardcore ideology aside to work with the opposition and pass this amendment. This will help take the bite off."

Alberta Liberal Leader David Swann said he would support the amendment.

Finance Minister Joe Ceci said he found it odd that the Wildrose would propose a tax cut without knowing the full impact on Alberta's finances. 

Ceci said Alberta has no PST, no health care levy and no payroll taxes. He says the province also has good infrastructure and an educated work force that businesses can benefit from. 

"I wouldn't want to prejudge what our side is going to do ... we think there are a number of things already that make for a good environment for small and large businesses," he said. 

The small business tax rate applies to profits under $500,000.

Manitoba (0.0), Saskatchewan (2.0) and British Columbia (2.5) have lower tax rates for small business. Manitoba's zero tax rate applies to businesses with profits under $350,000.