Taxes and fees: Top 7 highlights of Alberta Budget 2015
WATCH ABOVE: Minister Campbell says the province is holding the line on corporate taxes to help keep jobs in the province.
EDMONTON – The province unveiled its 2015-2016 budget Thursday afternoon. Here are some of the highlights:
The bottom line
Total spending of $48.4 billion on revenue of $43.4 billion for a $5-billion deficit – the largest in Alberta’s history. The deficit will be covered mainly by the province’s contingency fund.
End of the flat tax
Alberta will end its 10 per cent flat income-tax rate and phase in two new tax brackets for those making more than $100,000 or $250,000 a year. The change will affect about 330,000 workers.
Individuals making more than $50,000 a year will have to pay a health-care levy, effective July 1. The amount will be tied to income and capped at $1,000 annually. The levy is to be collected through the income-tax system and won’t be paid by employers.
The gasoline tax jumps four cents a litre on Friday. The government notes Alberta’s gas tax has not been raised since 1991 and remains the lowest in the country.
Smokes and booze
It will cost 16 cents more for a bottle of wine and 90 cents more for a case of 12 beers starting Friday. The tax on a carton of cigarettes will go up by $5 to $45.
READ MORE: What will your sins cost you?
Tax breaks for the working poor
Families earning less than $41,220 a year will be eligible for a supplement for each child, to a maximum of $2,750 each year. The government says about 75,000 families will be eligible.
READ MORE: Tax credits expanded for low-income families
Fees are going up for everything from camping to court filings and marriage certificates. Traffic fines are being boosted by an average of 35 per cent.
Job cuts in government
The government plans to shed 2,016 full-time jobs across all departments. Most of those positions are already vacant and will not be filled. About 370 layoffs are expected.
© 2015 The Canadian Press