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Albertans save millions on holiday shopping with no PST

Author: Kris Sims 2022/12/28
  • Albertans save about $184 million on gifts, toys, decorations and candy

CALGARY, AB: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is highlighting the fact that Alberta is the only province in Canada without a provincial sales tax, and that’s saving Albertans millions of dollars this holiday shopping season.

“As we braved the cold to buy our toys, candy and decorations this Christmas, we can be happy we don’t have a PST in Alberta, or it would’ve cost us a lot more,” said Kris Sims, Alberta Director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. “Albertans are saving about $80 each this holiday season because we aren’t paying seven per cent PST.”

Retail data shows shoppers spend an average of $1,137 on gifts and supplies during the winter holiday shopping season that stretches from the American Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve.

Alberta fares well compared to other provinces.

The four Atlantic provinces charge a 15 per cent Harmonized Sales Tax on items such as toys, decorations, electronics and candy. There’s a 10 per cent provincial portion and a five per cent federal portion of the HST.

There’s even HST charged on Christmas Trees, resulting in Grinchy higher costs, with each shopper shelling-out about $113 in the provincial sales tax over the holiday season. Even if only half the population of Atlantic Canada participates, they are paying about $144 million in PST.

The tax take is slightly less Scroogey in Ontario with a PST of eight per cent, costing each shopper about $90 over the holiday season. If just half the population of Ontario participates in the holiday shopping season, the government will rake in about $675 million in its provincial sales tax.

Holiday shoppers in Quebec will pay about $112 each with a provincial tax rate of 9.9 per cent, with the government scooping up about $470 million.

Manitoba’s reindeer riders will pay about $80 each with a Retail Sales Tax of seven per cent, shoveling about $55 million into government coffers.

In Saskatchewan, Santa’s little helpers will pay about $68 each in the six per cent PST during the shopping season, costing taxpayers about $40 million.

British Columbia does not yet hit its candy with seven per cent PST, but if half of the population of B.C. participates in holiday shopping for other gift and party items, they will pay about $71 each in PST, collecting about $188 million for the government.

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