Calgary business owner tells travelling senate committee to rethink tax changes

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Calgarians voice concerns over proposed changes to income tax act
WATCH: A travelling senate committee received an earful from Calgarians on plans to change the income tax act affecting private companies. Tony Tighe has the details – Nov 7, 2017

Calgary business owners made their concerns known to the Senate Committee on National Finance on Tuesday, as part of cross-Canada hearings on the impact of changes to the income tax act on private corporations.

Business and tax experts repeated their warning about how much the changes could hurt the economy.

Fiasco Gelato is a Calgary business which has grown from five to 25 employees in the past 14 years.

CEO James Boettcher is worried the proposed tax change is too drastic, especially the cap on retained earnings companies can carry over each year.

“We’ve gone through some challenges with the economy here in Alberta and being able to make sure we have a rainy day fund, we’ll call it, is an important part of operating a business,” Boettcher said.

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“I think that that is ignorant to the fact businesses are cyclical, the economy suffers often and we’ve got to find a way to still have money available to us in those challenges.”

Senators also heard from Calgary Chamber of Commerce President Adam Legge.

“Our overall hope is that the federal government will come to their senses and realize these changes are really a solution looking for a problem, and that they really back away from doing it,” he said.

“It can do some significant harm to the Canadian economy.”

The Senate committee has heard 60 presentations in Ottawa and Western Canada.

Senator Elizabeth Marshall from Newfoundland and Labrador is an accountant and said she has been moved by the personal stories.

“I’m tuning in more to the small business impact now as opposed to the technical aspects of the proposals,” Marshall said.

“I’m optimistic that what we’re going to present will be something that will be of benefit to the minister. Whether he will accept it or not is another matter.”

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She said the committee wouldn’t be crossing the country if members didn’t think it would make a difference.

The owner of Fiasco Gelato said he’s feeling optimistic, hoping the finance minister listens to their committee’s recommendations expected Dec. 15.

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