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Kenney’s sneaky tax grab will hit taxpayers’ pockets in 2021

Author: Franco Terrazzano 2020/12/30

CALGARY, AB: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is calling on Premier Jason Kenney to reverse his plan to hike income taxes by de-indexing tax brackets with inflation.

“Kenney is reaching deeper into taxpayers’ pockets in 2021 with his sneaky backdoor tax grab known as bracket creep,” said Franco Terrazzano, the CTF’s Alberta Director. “The last thing Albertans need right now is the provincial government taking more of our money through a sneaky backdoor tax grab.”

Bracket creep happens when governments stop indexing tax brackets with inflation and taxpayers automatically get bumped into a higher tax bracket even though we can’t actually afford to buy more. Bracket creep also allows inflation to erode the tax free portion of our income. 

Kenney introduced bracket creep in the 2019 budget. The budget estimated that de-indexation of the income tax system would cost Albertans $196 million in 2021.

As a Reform Party Member of Parliament, Kenney wrote a column in the Calgary Herald on Dec. 10, 1997, referring to bracket creep as a “hidden and regressive tax grab.”

Saskatchewan is ending bracket creep in 2021. In addition to Alberta, only Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island don’t index their tax brackets at all.

“Saskatchewan knows that hiking income taxes during a severe economic downturn is the wrong thing to do and the Alberta government should know this too,” said Terrazzano. “Kenney wasn’t sent to Edmonton so he could reach deeper into our pockets during a downturn. The premier needs to cancel his bracket creep tax hike.”