It’s never been a popular idea in Wild Rose Country, but a left-wing lobby group says introducing a sales tax could help generate the revenue needed in Alberta to maintain public services.
Public Interest Alberta appeared with the United Nurses of Alberta, the Alberta Union of Provincial employees and others on Tuesday, to launch its Revenue Reno campaign, which calls for either PST or changes to personal income taxes.
“Either way it’s the same people paying, so it’s a matter of how we want to structure that,” said executive director Joel French. “A sales tax has some advantages over personal income taxes in that it’s a tax that’s very hard for people to avoid. With personal income taxes, particularly for wealthy individuals, there are tax write-offs and ways to get around that.”
According to the group, every one per cent in sales tax generates $1 to $1.5 billion a year.
“HSAA’s members are health care experts who work on the frontlines and know better than anyone that there’s nothing left to cut. The healthcare cupboard is bare. If Alberta doesn’t find a way to create new revenue, frontline public care will have to be slashed and the effect on the work our members do, and on patients, will be devastating. We need revenue reform, and we need it now,” stated president Mike Parker of the Health Sciences Association of Alberta.
Public Interest Alberta is encouraging people to visit RevenueReno.ca and speak to their local MLAs about taxes.