New Brunswick

Roger Melanson may cut highest tax brackets

Finance Minister Roger Melanson said the provincial government will re-evaluate its tax rate for the province's highest earners once it's clear how much the new federal government will raise taxes for the wealthiest one per cent.

Brian Gallant's Liberals raised taxes on top income earners in March budget

Federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau joined Brian Gallant during the New Brunswick campaign in 2014. Both leaders promised to raise taxes on the wealthiest citizens. (Marc Grandmaison/Canadian Press)

Finance Minister Roger Melanson said the provincial government will re-evaluate its tax rates for the province's highest earners once it's clear how much the new federal government will raise taxes for the wealthiest one per cent. 

Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau has promised to give breaks to the middle class but raise taxes on the country's wealthiest citizens.

That could push the combined income tax rate for the wealthiest New Brunswickers well above 50 per cent. 

"I want to understand what would be the impact on our province," Melanson said.

"But I also want to say today that we are open to making an adjustment if we need, to see that we are competitive and we have more people coming to our province and more people investing in our province."

Melanson said he hopes to meet with the federal finance minister once that person is appointed and then a decision will be made on the future of the provincial levels. 

"If there's a need to adjust we're open to that," he said.

"What's important is that we stay competitive and attract investment in our province. I think it's important that we see New Brunswickers staying in New Brunswick, moving to New Brusnwick ... we want to be competitive," he said.

Trudeau's electoral tactic — promise to raise taxes on the highest income earners, run deficits and invest in infrastructure — is the same strategy that saw Brian Gallant's Liberals win in 2014.

During the 2014 election campaign, the Liberals proposed creating two new tax brackets, one at 21 per cent for people making more than $150,000 and one at 25.75 per cent for those making more than $250,000.

Those changes were adopted in the March provincial budget.

Clarifications

  • A previous version of this story stated federal rate changes could push the rate for New Brunswick's high earners above 50 per cent. In fact the combined rate is already above 50 per cent.
    Oct 22, 2015 10:07 AM AT

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