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How does Manitoba’s income tax compare to other prairie provinces?

Income taxes are the highest tax bill you pay. How much does the province of Manitoba take from your paycheque compared to other provinces? The difference will surprise you.

It’s three weeks until Manitobans head to the polls to pick the province’s new leading party.

One of the issues concerning Manitobans is taxes and how much you’re paying may be higher because you’ve put roots down in Manitoba.

Evelyn Jacks, President of Knowledge Bureau crunched the numbers to show how income tax compares across the Prairies.

“Depending on where you fit in the income brackets, whether you’re an economic family or whether you’re a single person, you may find Manitoba has higher rates in specific cases,” she said.

For example, if you’re making $31,200 a year, you pay the same $2,398.63 in federal income tax across the board, but the provincial taxes change greatly.

In Manitoba you would pay $2,122.83, in Saskatchewan, it would be $1,387.77 and in Alberta, it would be $991.29.

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For higher-income earners, like someone making $62,400 a year, you’d pay $7,632.89 in federal taxes and $5,887.97 in Manitoba provincial tax, about $1,000 less in Saskatchewan ($4,828.10) and about $2,000 less in Alberta ($3,942.19).

“What we’re finding is even at the lower levels in Manitoba we are taxing people sooner. Students get taxed sooner, single parents get taxed sooner and seniors living at the poverty line get taxed sooner,” Jacks said.

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Don Leitch, President and CEO of the Business Council of Manitoba, is pushing for tax reforms.

“Manitobans still feel they’re over-taxed compared to other jurisdictions, they feel that in the pocketbook at home,” he said.

Leitch says it’s harder to recruit employees when they can make more in other provinces.

“[At the] end of the day, people will look at taxes and say why look at moving to Manitoba if I have to pay more taxes?”

But Curtis Brown from Probe Research says taxes don’t seem to be the top issue for voters.

“Manitobans are always somewhat concerned about finances to some degree, but we don’t see it as being one of the top things people are concerned about. Normally it’s the state of the roads, public safety and health care. Those sorts of things are the things that bubble to the top.”

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Brown says people do get frustrated when they feel their hard-earned money is being spent foolishly by politicians.

“When it comes to things like tax increases and taxes people need to have a sense of what the value they’re getting for that,” he said.

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Manitobans head to the ballot box on Sept. 10 and the parties vying for your vote are making tax-related promises.

The Liberals are promising to create an independent commission for a fair tax review.

The Progressive Conservatives are looking to index the basic personal allowance and personal income tax brackets to the rate of inflation.

The NDP say they will also index the basic personal allowance and personal income tax brackets to the rate of inflation but that they would also create another tax bracket for those making $250,000 or more. 

The Green party said under their plan, tax brackets would stay the same, but the two lower brackets would see a deduction and the highest bracket would see an increase.

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Currently, Manitoba does have a number of tax credits that can be found online.

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