Friday, June 16, 2006

Tax cut good? Well...

This is very interesting.

Alberta PC Leadership candidate Jim Dinning has put forward a proposal to cut Alberta's provincial income taxes in half for people under the age of 30.

Tax cuts are good, but this one is not well thought out.

In his release Dinning suggests that this will attract people to Alberta to fill our labour shortage. (probably true)

He also suggests that this is better than the government creating some complicated program:
Government could design all kinds of programs targeted at young people. Or, we could cut income taxes in half for everyone under 30. No government spending programs with forms to fill out and staff to hire. (again probably true)

However, social engineering through the tax code is only slightly better than social engineering through social programs. Just ask us what we thought of the last federal budget.

But the question begs asking, why should some 28 year old earning $100,000, pay 5% tax when some 32 year old with a family earning $40,000 is paying 10%?

It's not fair, it's discriminatory, and it's confusing.

But at least it's a tax cut. And we'd much rather talk tax cuts in Alberta, than more spending.

Tell you what Jim, make it up to age 130 instead of 30 and we'll support it.


Kelly J Gessner said...

Right, Scott, it is discriminatory and unfair. It is also discriminatory and unfair for those who earn income from income trusts, dividends and capital gains, so-called "investment income", to be taxed at a preferential rate compared to those who earn their income from the sweat of their brows.

David MacLean said...

imagine the incentive to lie about your age...I thought turning 30 was wierd enough as it is.

Alberta Conservative said...

I agree Dinning's idea is a poor one since it does nothing to attract the majority of skilled workers who also happen to be over the age of 30.

Its interesting to note that Lyle Oberg has proposed cutting the education portion of property taxes to the tune of $1.6 billion. This makes sense as it allows municipalities to tax for the services they provide instead of going cap-in-hand to the provincial government for handouts. There is also the off chance this would be passed on to tax payers.

Scott Hennig said...

Oberg's proposal isn't any better. Yes property taxes are bad, yes they're regressive, but if he's willing to cut $1.4 billion in taxes, he'd better make sure it gets back to taxpayers.

If the City of Calgary wants more money, they don't need to go cap in hand to the province, they can decide to increase property taxes, and see how popular it is.

But simply transfering tax room is not a tax cut.

There shouldn't be an off-hand chance that a $1.4 billion tax cut ends up in taxpayers pockets, it should be a sure thing.

Until that is addressed, this isn't a real tax cut proposal.

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