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Thread: Is it finally time for a Sales Tax?

  1. #1

    Default Is it finally time for a Sales Tax?

    I always like the idea of a provincial sales tax.


    I thought - cut my income taxes, let me save more and let me decide when and how much I want to give to the gov't in taxes via my spending.


    Also, I hated being taxed on savings and investments for the future. Moreover, I was raised with the idea that saving is good and spending is bad. - Though spenders are my heros - for keeping most us us employed.


    What surprised me though was that in the past Albertan's weren't jumping at the chance to shift half of the income tax collections onto a sales tax to balance out and hopefully even stabilize the system.
    Last edited by KC; 10-02-2010 at 08:48 AM.

  2. #2

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    ^as I am in a higher income group, for me personally, a reduction in income taxes, and increased sales tax, would be favourable. This is because sales taxes are regressive, they hit poor people more than rich, because poor people spend a greater % of their take home pay (wealthier families save more). You can try and offset that with various complicated and expensive exemptions and rebates (which the poorest people probably aren's sophisticated enough to claim anyway, like the homeless), but even so, the net effect is almost always a shift in favour of higher income households. This is part of why far right groups in the U.S. almost always support sales taxes and getting rid of the IRS.
    Last edited by moahunter; 10-02-2010 at 09:05 AM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post

    I thought - cut my income taxes, let me save more and let me decide when and how much I want to give to the gov't in taxes via my spending.
    Although I am not opposed to the idea, just want to point out that it is unlikely both of those things will happen. We might get the sales tax, but income tax would not go down. In Alberta, it cannot be any lower than it already is.

    I would also not mind Alberta income tax go to a progressive taxation with Alberta Health premiums making a return as part of the progressive income tax.

    To me, there is no evil in reasonable taxation. The evil is in unreasonable spending.

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    I personally think we should get rid of all sales taxes, the government doesn't have a revenue problem but a spending problem.

    For example health care spending exceeds the rate of inflation by at least double, for example in the past 5 years we have been increasing the health care budget by 10% per year, this year's budget was an increase of 17%.

    We do not need two or more levels of taxation there should only be one system of taxation either sales or income, not both, we don't need the administrative costs of running both systems.

    No we don't need a provincial sales tax, we need a government willing to make hard choices and not listen to every single special interest group's whim and desire. Last time I checked doctors and teachers have university degrees, they should be "sophisticated enough" to live within their budgets.

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    i think we should just shoot all the sick people or ship them off to Cuba. that would bring health spending under control.

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    Didn't Michael Moore say Cuba had a perfect health care system, with doctors getting paid the same as garbage men? Of course if it was perfect why were so many people risking their lives on rafts trying to get to Florida.

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    ^ I didn't realize it was sick and injured people rafting from Cuba to get health care in Florida.
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  8. #8

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    No sales tax...1. Income taxes would not go down, gov'ts are overstuffed pigs and would eat more and more and more if you gave it too them...2. Anything that prevents people from spending is not good for business which is not good for employment

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    ^as I am in a higher income group, for me personally, a reduction in income taxes, and increased sales tax, would be favourable. This is because sales taxes are regressive, they hit poor people more than rich, because poor people spend a greater % of their take home pay (wealthier families save more). You can try and offset that with various complicated and expensive exemptions and rebates (which the poorest people probably aren's sophisticated enough to claim anyway, like the homeless), but even so, the net effect is almost always a shift in favour of higher income households. This is part of why far right groups in the U.S. almost always support sales taxes and getting rid of the IRS.
    I'm kinda in the middle. I'd like poor people to pay at least some tax so they know their actions will affect their taxes, but also I believe in progressive taxation as studies have shown that if you don't tax the balls off the rich, they spend a large amount of their money out of city, province, and country, and can even have a net drain on the economy.

    I suppose I wouldn't mind a small sales tax if we also went progressive taxation, taxed the lower income folks a few percent, dropped taxes a bit for most of us middle-income earners, and ramped it up for the wealthy. Overall we'd see some increase in taxes collected, and a fairer distribution of who pays, since nobody would be getting a free ride anymore.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by RTA View Post
    ^ I didn't realize it was sick and injured people rafting from Cuba to get health care in Florida.
    Interestingly, a large percentage was their prision population / criminals, who were encouraged to leave. Floridas crime rate went through the roof after the "exodus" in the 1980's.

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    Someone delete this thread QUICK!!!!!!!!

    If you like PST, move to a Province that has it! Personally, I like saving money when I spend money.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    I always like the idea of a provincial sales tax.


    I thought - cut my income taxes, let me save more and let me decide when and how much I want to give to the gov't in taxes via my spending.


    Also, I hated being taxed on savings and investments for the future. Moreover, I was raised with the idea that saving is good and spending is bad. - Though spenders are my heros - for keeping most us us employed.


    What surprised me though was that in the past Albertan's weren't jumping at the chance to shift half of the income tax collections onto a sales tax to balance out and hopefully even stabilize the system.
    It's not the first time this has been brought up over the years, and the answer remains the same - NO!
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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    ^as I am in a higher income group, for me personally, a reduction in income taxes, and increased sales tax, would be favourable. This is because sales taxes are regressive, they hit poor people more than rich, because poor people spend a greater % of their take home pay (wealthier families save more). You can try and offset that with various complicated and expensive exemptions and rebates (which the poorest people probably aren's sophisticated enough to claim anyway, like the homeless), but even so, the net effect is almost always a shift in favour of higher income households. This is part of why far right groups in the U.S. almost always support sales taxes and getting rid of the IRS.
    Consumption tax rebates are not hard to claim for... you just file your taxes and all the rest is calculated by the tax man.

    A well introduced sales tax would actually see the working poor pay LESS tax.

    This has been discussed before on another thread.. I supplied a bunch of facts and figures, but peoples knee jerk " OMG TAX FREAKOUT" took over.

    I am all for Prov sales tax harmonized with the GST.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by edmonton daily photo View Post
    Consumption tax rebates are not hard to claim for... you just file your taxes and all the rest is calculated by the tax man.
    You are going to do that for the homless people on the streets so that they can claim some money back off their booze purchases? It is all extra administration and extra cost.

    I agree with others though, that new taxes are not the answer. It just encourages politicians to waste more, which is the last thing we need given how much they are all ready spending for us.

  15. #15

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    We definitely need more fiscal responsibility from our government before we hand over more of our cash.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by edmonton daily photo View Post
    Consumption tax rebates are not hard to claim for... you just file your taxes and all the rest is calculated by the tax man.
    You are going to do that for the homless people on the streets so that they can claim some money back off their booze purchases? It is all extra administration and extra cost.

    I agree with others though, that new taxes are not the answer. It just encourages politicians to waste more, which is the last thing we need given how much they are all ready spending for us.
    So we don't introduce VAT because of the few thousand homeless... in that case we should get rid of tax on booze since a large number of homeless people have alcohol problems. SIN tax hurts the homeless... Common!

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    We definitely need more fiscal responsibility from our government before we hand over more of our cash.
    Under a propperly designed system most average income earners would pay less tax!

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    Quote Originally Posted by sundance View Post
    The government doesn't have a revenue problem but a spending problem.
    Got to challenge you on this one, sundance:

    - Alberta devotes less than 12 per cent of its gross provincial product to public spending. The national average is 22.5 per cent.

    - Per capita, Alberta's investment in health and education is fourth lowest among the provinces.

    - Alberta could raise taxes by $10 billion and still have the lowest rate in Canada.

    All that needs to happen is to return to the progressive system in place before Stockwell Day brought in his flat tax. Do that and Alberta has a balanced budget, no sales tax needed.
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  20. #20

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    No, I pay enough taxes.

    It is the government's responsibility to get the most out of the dollars they already receive. The last thing we need to do is give them more money to mismanage.

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    Not Then
    Not Now
    Not Ever
    They wouldn't be able to figure out a way of doing this and rescinding the taxes they already charge.
    Net difference more money
    Just ask BC and Ont. how well the Harmonized (not Harmonious ) tax is going

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    ^as I am in a higher income group, for me personally, a reduction in income taxes, and increased sales tax, would be favourable. This is because sales taxes are regressive, they hit poor people more than rich, because poor people spend a greater % of their take home pay (wealthier families save more). You can try and offset that with various complicated and expensive exemptions and rebates (which the poorest people probably aren's sophisticated enough to claim anyway, like the homeless), but even so, the net effect is almost always a shift in favour of higher income households. This is part of why far right groups in the U.S. almost always support sales taxes and getting rid of the IRS.
    I would agree if the sales tax had no exemptions at all, but the simplest way for Alberta to implement a sales tax would be as a HST. The things that lower income people spend the majority of their money on (housing and groceries) are GST exempt and would be HST exempt as well. The GST (HST) credit would also increase, selectively returning money to those with lower income.

    The thing that sales taxes can't do is distinguish between middle and high income people, who both spend the majority of their money on other, non-essential items. On the other hand, that is also the problem with Alberta's flat income tax, so partially replacing one with the other wouldn't really change much.

    I wouldn't mind seeing a 10% HST (5% federal and 5% provincial) if the income tax break consisted of lowering the provincial tax rate on the first $80,000 of income to 5%, with the 10% rate maintained for any income over that.

  23. #23

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    HST would also collect tax from people who are working for cash, visiting the province, or not paying tax to the province of Alberta.

    VAT tax is one of the fairest tax regimes around!

    VAT = Value Added Tax

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by edmonton daily photo View Post
    VAT tax is one of the fairest tax regimes around!
    It is also one of the most costly for busiensses to administer. Unless there is pure harmonization with the Federal tax, it is just a big messy burden (like BC and Ontario are experiencing right now).

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  26. #26

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    Would a sales tax help the Alberta Advantage?.
    It is the last thing we need.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Grovenor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sundance View Post
    The government doesn't have a revenue problem but a spending problem.
    Got to challenge you on this one, sundance:

    - Alberta devotes less than 12 per cent of its gross provincial product to public spending. The national average is 22.5 per cent.

    - Per capita, Alberta's investment in health and education is fourth lowest among the provinces.

    - Alberta could raise taxes by $10 billion and still have the lowest rate in Canada.



    All that needs to happen is to return to the progressive system in place before Stockwell Day brought in his flat tax. Do that and Alberta has a balanced budget, no sales tax needed.
    Just about the most sensible post I've ever seen on this forum!

    Oh, and if you don't like how your provincial government is spending your tax dollar, here's an idea - try voting the muppets out sometime.

  28. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Grovenor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sundance View Post
    The government doesn't have a revenue problem but a spending problem.
    Got to challenge you on this one, sundance:

    - Alberta devotes less than 12 per cent of its gross provincial product to public spending. The national average is 22.5 per cent.

    - Per capita, Alberta's investment in health and education is fourth lowest among the provinces.

    - Alberta could raise taxes by $10 billion and still have the lowest rate in Canada.

    All that needs to happen is to return to the progressive system in place before Stockwell Day brought in his flat tax. Do that and Alberta has a balanced budget, no sales tax needed.

    ^ Does that mean Alberta is wrong?

    Maybe all other provinces are spending too much, that does not mean we should follow.

    Government on every level is way to big and they do not need anymore of our money.

  29. #29

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    Gee.. with Alberta having one of the biggest infrastructure deficits if not the biggest (at least per capita) I think we have room for major improvement and we are def not doing things 100% right.

  30. #30

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    ^ I agree, they do almost nothing right. Raising taxes to the level of other provinces will not solve anything

  31. #31

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    Well it seems pretty clear people prefer income taxes to consumption taxes or a combination of the two.

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    I'd rather have one tax rather then the multiple ones we have;
    GST, Personal Income, Corporate Income, Property, fuel taxes, oil & gas royalties.

    Why do we need all these departments to collect money at multiple places?

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    ^ O&G royalties are not a tax. Just FYI.
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    That is very much a debatable point, but it still doesn't change my basic premise that we have too many layers of taxation and the infrastructure, administration, law, and enforcement to support them currently, we don't need another.

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    ^ Semantic, yes. Debateable, no; royalties are the price at which we (Albertans) sell our natural resources to those who have the means to extract and process them.

    If there's a more streamlined way to manage provincial revenues, including taxes and royalties, that may be worth investigating, I agree. I just want to make sure the distinction between a tax and a royalty is out there and understood.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sundance View Post
    That is very much a debatable point, but it still doesn't change my basic premise that we have too many layers of taxation and the infrastructure, administration, law, and enforcement to support them currently, we don't need another.
    it's not debatable in that the crown - i.e. us - owns the oil and gas in situ. the price the private sector pays to extract and keep those assets for their use is the royalties paid. that is a material cost, not a tax. what we chose to sell those materials for is a market decision based on the relative values placed on the asset by the vendor (us) and the purchaser (the oil and gas companies) and the market conditions etc. we are creating as a result.

    one of the interesting "side effects" of that relationship is that the lower the royalties, the greater the earnings and the greater the earnings the more tax that will be paid to ottawa even though alberta received less while the higher the royalties, the less the earnings and the less tax iswill be paid to ottawa. striking a balance between all of the competing interests and cash flows that actually works is a lot more complicated than most people think.
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    However Simon Fraser Institute views that royalties are taxes and uses royalties when they calculate tax freedom days.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sundance View Post
    However Simon Fraser Institute views that royalties are taxes and uses royalties when they calculate tax freedom days.
    do you mean the fraser institute? yes, according to their website they include "income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, profit taxes, health, social security and employment taxes, import duties, license fees, taxes on the consumption of alcohol and tobacco, natural resource fees, fuel taxes, hospital taxes and a host of other levies" in their calculations to determine a "tax freedom day". noting that i don't necessarily disagree with many of the overriding goals and objectives they stand for and strive for but sometimes they refer to natural resource fees and other times they refer to natural resource levies (and for this exercise i'm sure the fraser institute would also include the cost of the cream you put in your coffee if they thought they could get away with it). the exercise is one of relativity as much as it is one of accuracy and even they refer to some of their videos etc. surrounding this measure as being "light-hearted". they also acknowledge the potential error of including natural resource fees and/or levies with the following statement of their own:

    "There is a also an ongoing question as to whether natural resource royalties are actually a tax or simply the conversion of an asset (natural resources such as oil and gas) into an income stream for the province. If natural resource revenues are excluded, Tax Freedom Day is 18 days earlier in Newfoundland and Labrador, 16 days earlier in Saskatchewan, six days earlier in Alberta, and four days earlier in British Columbia."
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  39. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by sundance View Post
    I'd rather have one tax rather then the multiple ones we have;
    GST, Personal Income, Corporate Income, Property, fuel taxes, oil & gas royalties.

    Why do we need all these departments to collect money at multiple places?
    When you invest.. do you put all your money on ONE stock... NO you say... Diversification of revenue streams is a GOOD THING you say?

    Your question is VERY easy to answer.

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    Daily Photo: I am going to answer your question with another one. Do you want the province to be taking money from you at every chance they can get?

    I think one form of taxation can be equitable and fair and raise enough funds to run an efficient government. We currently pay in Alberta roughly 45% in taxes (based on Tax Freedom Day information), if you had an income tax, or a sales tax at this rate you would at the end of the day have the same amount of money in your pocket.
    http://www.fraserinstitute.org/newsa...news/6736.aspx

    The government however would have less expenses.

  41. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by sundance View Post
    However Simon Fraser Institute views that royalties are taxes and uses royalties when they calculate tax freedom days.
    So when we buy electricity from City owned EPCOR or Calgary's ENMAX - that whole charge also be a tax too?

  42. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by sundance View Post
    Daily Photo: I am going to answer your question with another one. Do you want the province to be taking money from you at every chance they can get?

    I think one form of taxation can be equitable and fair and raise enough funds to run an efficient government. We currently pay in Alberta roughly 45% in taxes (based on Tax Freedom Day information), if you had an income tax, or a sales tax at this rate you would at the end of the day have the same amount of money in your pocket.
    http://www.fraserinstitute.org/newsa...news/6736.aspx

    The government however would have less expenses.
    The amount of total tax is what is important to me, not how it`s collected.

    I also like taxes that allow me a certain amount of control and taxes uses of the service Like VAT, and SIN taxes such as booze and gambling

    income tax does not collect rev from visitors who use services like our roads or stay in our cities via hotels.
    Last edited by edmonton daily photo; 12-02-2010 at 02:57 PM.

  43. #43

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    Everything is important at some point or from someone's perspective. The total tax in relation to the services provided is important. The method of taxation is important. The types of people that pay and those that don't are important...

    Assuming the same total tax being collected, no more, no less - I'd like to see some thoughtful analysis of collecting some portion via a consumption tax with an equal and offsetting reduction of income taxes (maybe via raising the exemption level). Or some good arguments in favour of sticking with just income taxes despite what I assume is a discouraging effect on provincial level savings. As a country apparently Canadians don't save enough. I'm assuming that provincially that is also true.
    Last edited by KC; 14-02-2010 at 10:00 PM.

  44. #44

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    So only a few months past Alberta's last spending plan we're off by a whopping $3 billion and now need to attack core services.

    I suppose it is somewhat useful in some sense that our reliance on the pricing of a single commodity (oil pricing) gets immediately reflected in our operations in health care and education. (Albeit at their fringe via contract negotiations.)

    However, my personal tendency, bias and preference is to ensure that the most core of services are 'safe and soundly' financed and face the least volatility from single events - especially fickle external events. (i.e. Personally I've locked in my home's electricity price for 5 years to hedge that one utility cost and I want to hedge my natural gas price too. In retirement I plan to seek more diversified income sources incl. some guaranteed to ensure my house taxes, utilities, food, etc. are covered, leaving discretionary spending like vacations, eating out, etc as expendable items subject to volatility of savings and investment returns. )

    So again, a sales tax might diversify Alberta's revenue sources and buy time to adjust non-core services first before attacking core services.


    Braid: Information shrinks as Alberta’s deficit grows
    By Don Braid, Calgary Herald August 31, 2012
    excerpts:

    "Just when big capital cuts are coming, and a $3-billion deficit is possible, the Redford PCs are also cutting back sharply on reporting of provincial finances. / The latest quarterly report, released Thursday, is missing whole chunks of data that used to be provided routinely."...

    ..."The PCs took on record high spending, up by nearly $2 billion, and forecast relatively high energy prices to make the numbers work. / Those forecasts were in line with private experts, true, but they were..."

    http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/Br...744/story.html

  45. #45

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  46. #46

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    VAT could lower the tax burden for a lot of lower middle class families in Alberta!!
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  47. #47

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    We don't need more taxes, we need less spending on things like rural health clinics that simply aren't needed. Alberta already has the biggest government spend per capita, bringing in more tax so politicians can spend even more, is pointless.

    ^sales taxes are highly regressive, good for rich people (who save and invest higher percentage of income), not so good for poor and middle class (who spend more of what they earn).
    Last edited by moahunter; 31-08-2012 at 08:47 PM.

  48. #48

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    That's why the lower earners get gst checks... And if a vat is coupled with a reduction in income tax the lower earners actually save. We have done this dance before

    The Rick people I know usd to walk into my old toy store and spend what I made in 2 weeks at the time in about 30 min...

    It taxes consumption and the rich consume more.
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    I'm in no favor of sales tax but Redford Gov't just need very strict finanical discipline on spending.
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  50. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    We don't need more taxes, we need less spending on things like rural health clinics that simply aren't needed. Alberta already has the biggest government spend per capita, bringing in more tax so politicians can spend even more, is pointless.

    ^sales taxes are highly regressive, good for rich people (who save and invest higher percentage of income), not so good for poor and middle class (who spend more of what they earn).
    Right now we need more in tax revenues because the money has already been spent, unless we feel that debt financing is a smart strategy. (With today's interest rates, it might be right now, but psychologically the public and politicians are always fighting the last battle.)

    What we do need is an intelligent discussion of what and how government expenditures should be raised and under what circumstances - all stupid ideologies aside. There's circumstances when income tax should wholly be used and times when consumption taxes should wholly be used, and times when both should be used.

  51. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by jagators63 View Post
    I'm in no favor of sales tax but Redford Gov't just need very strict finanical discipline on spending.
    Really your in no favour of updating the tax model and saving money?

    Wow,

    Tax and our current tax system hasnt been reviewed in 20 years. If you think that is good government we have very different opinions on things.
    "Do you give people who already use transit a better service, or do you build it where they don't use it in the hopes they might start to use it?" Nenshi

  52. #52

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    Why do we need a sales tax? The deficit will be paid for by Alberta's Sustainability Fund. Let's not forget that " Much of 2011-12 was also gloomy and unpredictable, with the province initially projecting a $3.4-billion deficit. By year’s end, the red ink was reduced to just $23 million, largely thanks to record land lease sales.

    Read more: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/price...#ixzz25EYlpKrc "
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  53. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by edmonton daily photo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jagators63 View Post
    I'm in no favor of sales tax but Redford Gov't just need very strict finanical discipline on spending.
    Really your in no favour of updating the tax model and saving money?

    Wow,

    Tax and our current tax system hasnt been reviewed in 20 years. If you think that is good government we have very different opinions on things.
    saving money by introducing a sales tax? Who saves money? It won't be jagators, who has identified himself on previous threads as a low-income earner. A sales tax would hurt the low and middle classes, while the rich would be hardly affected. Sounds like a great plan.
    A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims, but accomplices.

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    I don't want Redford Gov't to spend things that alberta doesn't need.
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  55. #55

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    And what are they spending on that isn't needed? Preytell

    One of the largest prov expenditures is the cost of labour...
    Last edited by edmonton daily photo; 01-09-2012 at 11:44 AM.
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    ^^ I'm going to ask you one question

    if you are in serious personal debt, will you sell your home and buy bigger house ??

    I think not, because it will only add more debt.


    that is why Alberta should not spend that they don't need.
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  57. #57

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    Jagators Alberta doesn't have debt. We have a deficit that will be made up with the Alberta sustainability fund. And at this point the deficit is only projected, not official.
    Please look up the difference between debt and deficit
    A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims, but accomplices.

  58. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by edmonton daily photo View Post
    And what are they spending on that isn't needed? Preytell
    A bloated cabinet and MLA pensions jump to mind. But beyond that, why is it that other provinces can spend less per capita, but receive more? For example in Quebec they have a child care program. In Ontario they spend less per capita on health, but have shorter waiting lists.

    The answers quite simple, government employees in Alberta are overpaid for what they do. Specialist Doctors earning more than 500k a year, or administrators claiming every expense under the sun, just aren't worth that much. But its easier politically to keep spending at a stupidly high rate than face up to it. Giving more money, largely off the backs of the middle class (which is who a sales tax impacts hardest), for politicians to spend even more, would be insane.
    Last edited by moahunter; 01-09-2012 at 01:33 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    I always like the idea of a provincial sales tax.


    I thought - cut my income taxes, let me save more and let me decide when and how much I want to give to the gov't in taxes via my spending.


    Also, I hated being taxed on savings and investments for the future. Moreover, I was raised with the idea that saving is good and spending is bad. - Though spenders are my heros - for keeping most us us employed.


    What surprised me though was that in the past Albertan's weren't jumping at the chance to shift half of the income tax collections onto a sales tax to balance out and hopefully even stabilize the system.
    It's not the first time this has been brought up over the years, and the answer remains the same - NO!
    Absolutely correct. For those here who admonish a sales tax, move to any other province with one and see what you get for the money.
    As Jimbo stated...NO!!!!
    Make the RIGHT choice before you take your last breath......

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    The Consumption Tax: A Critique
    Mises Daily: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 by Murray N. Rothbard
    http://mises.org/daily/1768/

  62. #62

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    At the end of the day, its an academic debate. A sales type tax would be political suicide, always has been, always will be. Just look at the debacle in BC where they only tried to simplify their sales tax. As much as I'm tired of the PC's, they are politically smart and would never do this.

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    ^ BC voting down the HST was an ill-conceived protest. Replacing the 5% GST and 7% PST with the proposed 10% HST would have saved BC residents money, but they let their frustration with the former premier and his party get the best of them.

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    BC should be happy with 10 % HST rather than combined 12 % from PST and GST but voters have voted them down and taxpayers will have to pay back $ 1.6 billion dollars to the feds


    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/01...n_1199524.html
    Last edited by jagators63; 02-09-2012 at 07:46 PM.
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  65. #65

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    anyone who wants a pst or hst needs to go die in a fire i like the fact its just gst hell i wish it was no tax at all like it used to be when chocolate bars were only 75 cents

  66. #66

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    Consumption tax could lower the tax burden for the average Albertan and collect more money! But you keep vilifying it unjustly without doing any research!

    I for one would argue that we should drop income tax down to 5% and put in a 5-10% consumption tax.
    "Do you give people who already use transit a better service, or do you build it where they don't use it in the hopes they might start to use it?" Nenshi

  67. #67

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    I am always heartened by people who protest consumption taxes and therefore indirectly support income taxes.

    Income taxes are the most necessary means of social engineering. I don't support any form of sales tax. I do support very steeply increasing personal income taxes, and a punitively high corporate rate on any income that is retained beyond two years or distributed in the form of dividend.
    Last edited by AShetsen; 03-09-2012 at 12:08 PM.

  68. #68

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    That's possibly due to the fact that some are low income earners... If one is struggling to make ends meet, that extra tax could further impede their daily survival. This is the reason why i'm not in favor of it; there are enough children going hungry right now, and i don't particularly want to see that tally raised.

  69. #69

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    That is a bunch of hog wash...

    A) most manditory items such as real food has not gst/pst on them.
    B) the lower income earners get refunds
    C) I assure yo that e true low income earners benefit more from strong well funded social programs than they do by a few dollars in their pocket.. Which is what they will pay as the poor don't consume much...
    D) under Albertas current tax structure, low income earners already pay more in taxes than other provinces... Hence the suggestion that you lower income tax and add a vat.
    "Do you give people who already use transit a better service, or do you build it where they don't use it in the hopes they might start to use it?" Nenshi

  70. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by edmonton daily photo View Post
    C) I assure yo that e true low income earners benefit more from strong well funded social programs than they do by a few dollars in their pocket.. Which is what they will pay as the poor don't consume much....
    Having grown up in a very low income neighborhood, I think this is hogwash. Virtually every dollar earned is already spent by the pay packet for many people, and much of that spend will be on items that will carry GST. As to social services doing more for people than money in their pocket, maybe in communist cuba, but even there given the choice, most would rather have cash they have earned than recieve a hand out.

    I don't know why you keep pushing the line that sales taxes are good for poor and middle income earners, it simply isn't true, even with rebates. Sales taxes are regressive because lower income and middle income people can't save as much. Wealthier people spend/save more of their income on finanical services which don't attract such tax. To them a sales tax is no big deal. Sales taxes have some advantages, but not income redistribution. The big advantage is they bring in a truck load of consistent cash even when growth is low. The big cost, aside for the pain for low/middle income earnes (Alberta already being an expensive province to live in) is that they place a heavy administration burden on small companies in particular, and politicians get addicted to the cash they bring in.

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    I totally agree with Moa and Jag, we don't need more taxes as it only promotes government spending, we need fiscal restraint and responsibility.

    While people might criticize the lavish expense claims of Allaudin Merali but wasn't the now resigned Sheila Weatherill supposed to oversee these claims. If somebody came to me with an expense claim for a meal of over $100 1st question I'd ask is how many people were there, and what was the purpose of meal, if it was a meeting with 2 or more people that might be a valid expense, if not the person would get a maximum of about $50.

    Many other examples of government largess exist and until they stop wasting my tax dollars why would I want to give them more.

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    My preferred:

    • No sales tax
    • Progressive income tax with no deductions.
      The amount for Canada is likely different but estimates in the U.S. say that the elimination of all deductions in the U.S. would allow the lowering of income tax to the 15% range.
    • Currently ambivalent on corporate tax. There are good reasons presented by economists across the spectrum for eliminating it however it feels wrong.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

  73. #73

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by edmonton daily photo View Post
    C) I assure yo that e true low income earners benefit more from strong well funded social programs than they do by a few dollars in their pocket.. Which is what they will pay as the poor don't consume much....
    Having grown up in a very low income neighborhood, I think this is hogwash. Virtually every dollar earned is already spent by the pay packet for many people, and much of that spend will be on items that will carry GST. As to social services doing more for people than money in their pocket, maybe in communist cuba, but even there given the choice, most would rather have cash they have earned than recieve a hand out.

    I don't know why you keep pushing the line that sales taxes are good for poor and middle income earners, it simply isn't true, even with rebates. Sales taxes are regressive because lower income and middle income people can't save as much. Wealthier people spend/save more of their income on finanical services which don't attract such tax. To them a sales tax is no big deal. Sales taxes have some advantages, but not income redistribution. The big advantage is they bring in a truck load of consistent cash even when growth is low. The big cost, aside for the pain for low/middle income earnes (Alberta already being an expensive province to live in) is that they place a heavy administration burden on small companies in particular, and politicians get addicted to the cash they bring in.
    Because ypu single out one portion of what is say...

    The introduction of a Sales taxes in conjunction with a lower income tax will reduce the tax burden on the average Joe and collect more in taxes.

    You are seeing what you want to see and not actually reading what I am writing.

    I think it is VERY fair that people who are visiting, or people who are working for cash off the grid also get taxed.. A VAT does that.
    Last edited by edmonton daily photo; 04-09-2012 at 09:39 AM.
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  74. #74

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    Quote Originally Posted by sundance View Post
    I totally agree with Moa and Jag, we don't need more taxes as it only promotes government spending, we need fiscal restraint and responsibility.

    While people might criticize the lavish expense claims of Allaudin Merali but wasn't the now resigned Sheila Weatherill supposed to oversee these claims. If somebody came to me with an expense claim for a meal of over $100 1st question I'd ask is how many people were there, and what was the purpose of meal, if it was a meeting with 2 or more people that might be a valid expense, if not the person would get a maximum of about $50.

    Many other examples of government largess exist and until they stop wasting my tax dollars why would I want to give them more.
    This isn't about promoting spending.. its about being able to cover our current spending or a reduced level of spending and save our oil/gas royalties.

    With Alberta growing at the rate it is we can't NOT invest and spend... stop looking at some broken Ralph Klein model of 20 years ago and start looking at today and the future.
    "Do you give people who already use transit a better service, or do you build it where they don't use it in the hopes they might start to use it?" Nenshi

  75. #75

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Turnbull View Post
    My preferred:

    • No sales tax
    • Progressive income tax with no deductions.
      The amount for Canada is likely different but estimates in the U.S. say that the elimination of all deductions in the U.S. would allow the lowering of income tax to the 15% range.
    • Currently ambivalent on corporate tax. There are good reasons presented by economists across the spectrum for eliminating it however it feels wrong.
    I agree with you (maybe allow charitable donations). In most European countries most residents don't have to complete income tax returns, becasue the correct amount is withheld at source. When this came into place in New Zealand almost 20 years ago now, H&R Block was out of business within one year. Politicians keep trying to win "cheap" points though here, like the child sports deductions and similar. The amount of wasted administration that could be saved is staggering.

  76. #76

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    I agree with the no deductions as well....
    "Do you give people who already use transit a better service, or do you build it where they don't use it in the hopes they might start to use it?" Nenshi

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    Taxes do promote spending, income taxes were supposed to be a temporary tax to raise funds to pay for World War 1, every additional tax that is added the same things happen over and over again governments just spend more.
    A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing - Probably Alexander Fraser Tytler

  78. #78

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    ^omg...

    Really... cause the world is exactly the same as 100 years ago! You don't think the gov't had revenue streams back then... it was just collected differently.

    400 years ago they thought he world was flat..... Just because something the way it was in the past doesn't make it relevant to today..
    "Do you give people who already use transit a better service, or do you build it where they don't use it in the hopes they might start to use it?" Nenshi

  79. #79

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    As for the Credit program... The GST provides a refund equivalent to $5200 dollars of spending on TAXED items

    Take someone living on AISH at apx 1450/month or 17400/year...

    Asuming cheap rent at apx 450/500 a month (which is not taxed) and assuming that food takes up another 1/3rd the majority of which is not taxed.... that leaves abotu 5200 dollars a year in consumer spending.

    Moa i work with the poor now... I share my home with someone on Aish so he can have a good safe place to live at a reasonable rate and have a bit to save.... His big taxes expenditure is his 5 dollars a day he spends on diet coke (which is only 1800 a year).. I think its great you want to look out for the poor but don't do it because you are really looking out for your own best interests. I would venture to say that you are in an income bracket that would likely see an increased tax burden. but honestly you could afford it I'm sure.

    The poor can champion for themselves...
    Last edited by edmonton daily photo; 04-09-2012 at 10:44 AM.
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  80. #80

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    Quote Originally Posted by edmonton daily photo View Post
    I think its great you want to look out for the poor but don't do it because you are really looking out for your own best interests.
    As a high income earner, my own best interest would be for a sales tax and reduction in income tax. I know that, I'd be a lot better off than I am right now pay 39cents in the dollar on every new buck I earn (its brutal, almost not worth while to work smarter / earn more). I am not aware of any charity or similar that is advocating for an increase in sales taxes, please provide your source, most are smarter than that, and know it would hurt their clients (some of whom don't even have an address from which to get a GST rebate or similar).
    Last edited by moahunter; 04-09-2012 at 11:02 AM.

  81. #81

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    No one is in any way entitled to be rich. The purpose of a punitively high taxation curve is not to punish people for making too much money but to prevent them from doing so in the first place.
    Last edited by AShetsen; 04-09-2012 at 11:14 AM.

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    Consumption taxes bring in the most revenue. That in itself doesn't justify them, mind you.

    The idea I like best is no sales tax, but consider reverse income tax for the working poor: rewards them for participating in the labour force.

    Now, AISH and other programs for those who we reasonably cannot expect to hold any meanigful employment - are those rates too low? Can't answer that.
    ... gobsmacked

  83. #83

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    i agree too. we all pay enough taxes one way or the other. government gotta make the most out of each and every penny they get from us.

  84. #84

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by edmonton daily photo View Post
    I think its great you want to look out for the poor but don't do it because you are really looking out for your own best interests.
    As a high income earner, my own best interest would be for a sales tax and reduction in income tax. I know that, I'd be a lot better off than I am right now pay 39cents in the dollar on every new buck I earn (its brutal, almost not worth while to work smarter / earn more). I am not aware of any charity or similar that is advocating for an increase in sales taxes, please provide your source, most are smarter than that, and know it would hurt their clients (some of whom don't even have an address from which to get a GST rebate or similar).
    As a high income earner... you personally may not but statistically your peers would pay more in tax from a reduction in income tax and implementation of a VAT. that's statistically however.

    I never said that that anyone agency/charity is advocating for or against a tax structure. I said that the poor, can champion their own cause. They don't need the wealthy using them as a reason to escape paying more tax. (based on the statistic that if a VAT was introduced the high earners would pay more tax)

    as for the homeless.... the homeless and the money they earn stereotypically go to drugs and booze. NOT ALWAYS.. but the majority of homeless are mentally ill/substance abusers who are self medicating. I say that as fact I don't look down on them for that. The services they receive such as food are not taxed.. not is booze..nor are illegal drugs.
    "Do you give people who already use transit a better service, or do you build it where they don't use it in the hopes they might start to use it?" Nenshi

  85. #85

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    Quote Originally Posted by edmonton daily photo View Post
    That is a bunch of hog wash...

    A) most manditory items such as real food has not gst/pst on them.
    B) the lower income earners get refunds
    C) I assure yo that e true low income earners benefit more from strong well funded social programs than they do by a few dollars in their pocket.. Which is what they will pay as the poor don't consume much...
    D) under Albertas current tax structure, low income earners already pay more in taxes than other provinces... Hence the suggestion that you lower income tax and add a vat.
    You have not processed this in full. Do they not clothing and other items which will incur to the overall cost of living? Im speaking from experience... My father and i emmigrated here 32 yrs ago, and i recall our srruggle- there was no gst back then either. When tax is applied, it will affect lower income brackets regardless of what you think.

  86. #86

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    I have processed this in full... you are not reading and or thinking about what I am writing... It's not just me talking about the benefits of a VAT... and every few years this thread comes back in one form or anther. If you search the archives you will see links to studies that show the advantages of a sales tax. Studies done by Albertans.

    that is why there is a GST refund for people making under 33,000 a year. And again I point out I am advocating for a reduction in personal income tax too! I am sure when you were new here and struggling paying half the amount income tax would have been welcomed!

    don't use the poor/children as your own personal shield... as is often done.

    o and moa.. get real... just because I talk about strong well funded social programs doesn't make me a communist or lead the province to communism.. It be like me calling you a fascist because you want to pay slightly less tax. There are arguments for cheap universal childcare etc.

    Last edited by edmonton daily photo; 04-09-2012 at 01:54 PM.
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  87. #87

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    http://www.calgaryunitedway.org/main...ts%20sep07.pdf

    Here is a report on poverty...

    its interesting to note that in the 90's (After GST came into effect) Poverty fell... I am not linking the two together it;s just interesting to note. Since the 2000's poverty levels have increased actually...

    If people were really concerned about the poor we would talk about increases to Wellfare, access to clean safe housing at affordable rates, access to cheap dental care.. etc. Not protecting them from a consumption tax and income tax reduction.
    "Do you give people who already use transit a better service, or do you build it where they don't use it in the hopes they might start to use it?" Nenshi

  88. #88

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    Quote Originally Posted by edmonton daily photo View Post
    http://www.calgaryunitedway.org/main...ts%20sep07.pdf

    Here is a report on poverty...

    its interesting to note that in the 90's (After GST came into effect) Poverty fell... I am not linking the two together it;s just interesting to note. Since the 2000's poverty levels have increased actually...

    If people were really concerned about the poor we would talk about increases to Wellfare, access to clean safe housing at affordable rates, access to cheap dental care.. etc. Not protecting them from a consumption tax and income tax reduction.
    Concur to most part...

  89. #89

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    Why not add a poll to the thread and see what C2E'ers think? Could be a simple yes/no one.

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    I'm not against a sales tax as part of a comprehensive tax regime. But it's far more important, not to mention politically expedient, to bring in a progressive income tax. Most Albertans support this. I would like to see most middle-income and low-income earners pay a bit less and high-income earners pay more. Because of the flat tax we have the lowest rate in Canada for people at the top but not necessarily those at the bottom and in the middle. This is absurd public policy.

    And of course we should be getting substantially more for our oil and gas. There was an interesting article in the Tyee about the royalty issue in Alberta from a Norwegian perspective.

    http://thetyee.ca/News/2012/08/22/Rolf-Wiborg/

  91. #91

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    ^that debate again? An article that fails to mention that Alberta would have a fund as large as Norway if we could get back the Federal tax take from Alberta used to fund equalization (Norway was smart not to join the EU), and that Norway is one of the more indebted nations on earth per capita with 644 billion of debt for only 5 mililon people, or 128k per person (strange false claim in article about no public debt - easy to save lots, when you borrow lots)
    Last edited by moahunter; 04-09-2012 at 02:22 PM.

  92. #92

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Why not add a poll to the thread and see what C2E'ers think? Could be a simple yes/no one.
    why who cares... C2E is not all of Alberta and popular vote doesn't make for sound policy.

    but sure...
    "Do you give people who already use transit a better service, or do you build it where they don't use it in the hopes they might start to use it?" Nenshi

  93. #93

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    ^that debate again? An article that fails to mention that Alberta would have a fund as large as Norway if we could get back the Federal tax take from Alberta used to fund equalization (Norway was smart not to join the EU), and that Norway is one of the more indebted nations on earth per capita with 644 billion of debt for only 5 mililon people, or 128k per person (strange false claim in article about no public debt - easy to save lots, when you borrow lots)
    Debt isn't bad depends on what they are borrowing for? I wont comment specifically on Norway.. but borrowing for infrastructure or projects that earn equal to or more than the interest = good. Borrowing to pay for food = bad.

    Again you take information from the report... don't assume the intent is to make Alberta into Norway. Should Alberta have saved more of its Oil and Gas revenue... i think its safe to say yes.
    "Do you give people who already use transit a better service, or do you build it where they don't use it in the hopes they might start to use it?" Nenshi

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    ^that debate again? An article that fails to mention that Alberta would have a fund as large as Norway if we could get back the Federal tax take from Alberta used to fund equalization (Norway was smart not to join the EU), and that Norway is one of the more indebted nations on earth per capita with 644 billion of debt for only 5 mililon people, or 128k per person (strange false claim in article about no public debt - easy to save lots, when you borrow lots)
    Debt per person is a poor way to measure debt levels which is why economists measure as a per cent of GDP.* Norway's per capita GDP is double Canada's and their debt as a per cent of GDP is lower than Canada's. Norway is doing fine as long as they maintain their GDP. Further, their oil fund is worth as much as their debt so their assets and liabilities balance out.

    *Think of it as $1000 of debt is very manageable to someone making $100000/year but not so much to someone making $10000/year.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    ^that debate again? An article that fails to mention that Alberta would have a fund as large as Norway if we could get back the Federal tax take from Alberta used to fund equalization (Norway was smart not to join the EU), and that Norway is one of the more indebted nations on earth per capita with 644 billion of debt for only 5 mililon people, or 128k per person (strange false claim in article about no public debt - easy to save lots, when you borrow lots)
    Apparently you'd rather give money to the oil companies in the form of windfall profits than contribute to the rest of our country.

    Norway's debt doesn't change the fact that they keep much more of their resource wealth than we do. If we followed their example, we could have a much larger heritage savings fund, contribute to equalization and adequately fund our public services.

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    ^ That said, I do completely agree with you that many of our doctors and senior public servants are overpaid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PrairieBoyinExile View Post
    ^ That said, I do completely agree with you that many of our doctors and senior public servants are overpaid.

    teachers are overpaid too
    Edmonton Rocks Rocks Rocks

  98. #98

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    I would Say that teachers are fairly compensated
    "Do you give people who already use transit a better service, or do you build it where they don't use it in the hopes they might start to use it?" Nenshi

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    Quote Originally Posted by edmonton daily photo View Post
    ^omg...

    Really... cause the world is exactly the same as 100 years ago! You don't think the gov't had revenue streams back then... it was just collected differently.

    400 years ago they thought he world was flat..... Just because something the way it was in the past doesn't make it relevant to today..
    Yet another example to prove my point (and its today's story not 400 years ago)

    Shock over Alison Redford's travel bills
    Darcy Henton - Calgary Herald
    "Alberta's premier and her minister of international and intergovernmental relations announced respective trips ... running up the cost of cabinet travel this year to nearly $380,000 just days after the government conceded the deficit is ballooning"

    http://www.canada.com/news/politics/...941/story.html

  100. #100

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    ^after 40 years of one party rule, its out of control (it would be no matter what the political party, left or right wing). All more tax revenue would do, is justify bigger travel and perks for officials, burecrats, etc.

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