If they had of privatized the liquor stores like in Ontario, it would probably have stayed put granted that it was making a profit.
Liquor stores aren't private in ontario, you're thinking of the beer store.
Sunshine, low taxes make Alberta perfectJack M. Mintz, Financial Post Published: Thursday, January 10, 2008Having just moved to Calgary, my wife and I find that days are endlessly sunny here, even in the winter. But, Alberta is sparkles in other ways, especially when it comes to taxation and privatization.Albertans face a challenge, however, in maintaining these significant fiscal advantages. Demographic pressures may compromise its fiscal position and royalty revenues may fail to grow with the economy, as the forthcoming Alberta election campaign will surely highlight.It is well known that Alberta has the lowest personal income taxes in the country, especially for skilled workers. With a flat tax rate of 10%, the 2008 top marginal tax rate is only 39%, sharply lower than Ontario's at 46.4% and Quebec at 48.2%. This translates into some significant gains for migrants to the province, making it easier for employers to negotiate salaries. At $100,000 in income, for example, an Albertan pays almost $2,300 less than in Ontario and $5,000 less than in Quebec.True, Albertans have to pay a health premium unlike most provinces, British Columbia and Ontario being the notable exceptions. But this cost does not override the tax advantages of living here.Employers know this. They can offer attractive packages for skilled workers, despite housing prices that have recently reached the level in Toronto. No wonder so many skill-intensive industries have moved to Alberta in the past years.Another obvious advantage is the absence of a sales tax in Alberta. Whether buying a cup of coffee at the Second Cup or some kitchen goods at Canadian Tire, only a 5%, rather than Ontario's 13% rate, applies to our purchases. Prices also seem similar to other parts of the country -- I haven't figured out how much sales tax that I have saved so far, but it is not insignificant.Less obvious are other tax advantages. Property taxes seem comparable to other provinces, perhaps even a bit less. Neither the province nor the city charge a land transfer tax on purchases of homes. People are more willing to develop real estate here since land transfer taxes don't encourage people to stay a long time in their homes, thereby impairing turnover of property.Neither do Alberta employers pay payroll taxes like in Ontario and Quebec. For years, they have not paid capital taxes. That even applies to financial institutions operating here.Alberta's corporate income tax rate is also the lowest in the country at 10%. Not only does this encourage investment in all sorts of industries, but it also shores up government revenues as businesses shift profits to Alberta from high-tax jurisdictions like Ontario and the United States.Government owns less of industry here. We have found that liquor stores actually compete on price in Alberta, providing far better selection than Ontario's liquor monopoly. Amazingly, beer, wine and other alcohol are sold in the same store, too, although I do miss the expensive, glossy advertising from Ontario's liquor control board
Post a Comment