CALGARY – Most Albertans don’t want the province to impose a provincial sales tax, according to a new poll.
Premier Jim Prentice recently stated that while he doesn’t think Albertans generally advocate a sales tax, he’s prepared to hear a discussion on its merits as the government prepares for the possibility of an ailing economy.
On Monday, Mainstream Technologies released results from a survey in which they tried to gage if Albertans would support the introduction of PST.
When asked if they approve or disapprove of a provincial sales tax to balance the budget, 48 per cent of respondents said they strongly disapproved. A further 18 per cent said they somewhat disapproved.
“This is an idea that quite frankly has fallen flat,” says President of Mainstreet Technologies Quito Maggi. “The Premier has talked about a PST as a potential tool to fight the deficit but Albertans prefer every other measure to it.”
When Mainstreet asked respondents how the province should battle a potential $7-billion drop in revenues, PST came in dead last with just nine per cent saying it was their preference.
They survey found most Albertans preferred method to raise revenue was an increase of user fees and so-called ‘sin taxes’ on alcohol and cigarettes.
“The problem is that sin taxes and increased user fees will not be enough to balance the budget,” noted Maggi. “When we looked at how Albertans want the Premier to deal with the upcoming budget the most popular idea was to cut spending – but there just isn’t much to cut.”
“A PST has the most potential to raise revenue – but Albertans are firmly opposed.”
Mainstreet’s January Alberta Issues poll is being released in two installments; the second will be released on January 20th, 2015.
BELOW: A complete copy of Mainstreet Technologies’ January Issues poll (Pt.1)