Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce looks for balance plan in provincial budget

City of Saskatoon preparing for Wednesday’s federal and provincial budgets
WATCH ABOVE: City of Saskatoon preparing for Wednesday’s federal and provincial budgets.

The most important detail in Wednesday’s provincial budget announcement should be a clear plan to dig out of a reported $1.2 billion deficit, according to the Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce’s executive director.

By mid-afternoon Wednesday, Saskatchewan Finance Minister Kevin Doherty will reveal the provincial government’s fiscal blueprint. Premier Brad Wall has already indicated the plan will include a shift to taxes on consumption.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan finance minister displays resoled shoes for deficit budget

Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce executive director Kent Smith-Windsor admitted that while “nobody likes to pay taxes,” the government must look for a “tax base that’s got some stability to it.”

Smith-Windsor said a consumption tax would be “far better than depending on things like a property tax, which does distort investment or something like an income tax which reduces the incentive to put effort into your daily life.”

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“If you’re going to have a tax system you want to have it as broad as possible and as low as possible,” Smith-Windsor said Tuesday.

READ MORE: Wall tells Saskatchewan residents to brace for tax increases in deficit budget

Saskatchewan’s government isn’t the only one releasing its budget Wednesday afternoon. In Ottawa, Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau will reveal his fiscal plan, which Smith-Windsor also hopes will include a path to balance.

“It’s all about trajectory,” Smith-Windsor said.

“Being able to say we’ve got a target to be out of deficit at a certain time matters a lot in terms of people that are looking at the future costings for public services.”