Manitoba’s modest tax cuts in recent years pale in comparison with other western provinces and neighbouring states, according to a report released yesterday by the Frontier Centre for Public Policy.
Since 1999, Manitoba has decreased its tax load — personal income tax, corporate, small business and capital taxes — by about 6%.
In comparison, B.C. lowered its tax load by nearly 18%, Alberta by nearly 15% and Saskatchewan by nearly 11%, according to the report by the independent economic think tank.
“These are our economic competitors,” said Peter Holle, spokesman for the Frontier Centre. “We compete (with them) for capital and labour.”
The implications for the province is it will attract fewer corporations and businesses and have lower growth rate of income, investment and population, Holle added.
Manitoba also remains the only western province to have a payroll tax.
“It’s pretty straightforward, if you want to be in the game you can’t have the highest taxes in western Canada,” said Holle. “The government needs to cut top marginal tax rates, eliminate the capital tax and get rid of payroll taxes.”
The province’s modest personal and small business tax cuts make Manitoba’s tax load slightly lower than Ontario’s.
The report also highlighted the province’s growing dependence on federal transfers.
“Since 1999 federal transfers have grown 50% faster than the local economy,” the report stated.
Opposition leader Hugh McFadyen said the report is another glaring example of the sad state of Manitoba’s economy.